Join the Sheridan AARP Volunteer Team

Posted on 07/13/20 by Tom Lacock

Sheridan Christmas walk.jpg

AARP has had a presence in Sheridan County since May 18, 1970, when the first Chapter was organized. The Chapter had a cadre of volunteers to conduct community service programs. One of the major projects of the Chapter was to assist the Sheridan Memorial Hospital in conducting its annual health fair, which provided an opportunity for the community to come to the hospital and obtain health screenings, lab testing, and meet with providers to discuss their overall health conditions. At its peak, the health fair drew over 5,000 people who came to the hospital for lab draws. Over the years and under numerous presidents, the Sheridan Chapter made positive impacts in the community serving older Americans.

In October 2018, the Chapter decided to transition into a Community Action Team (CAT). The intent of transitioning to a CAT was to simplify the overall structure and to make it less cumbersome for members to host and participate in local AARP activities.

After working with the AARP Wyoming State Office to transition to a Community Action Team, the group was notified in December 2018 of their official status as a CAT. Thus began the new experience for AARP volunteers in Sheridan.

Under the leadership of Clarence Montano, the Sheridan CAT decided that it was imperative to hold monthly meetings for consistency’s sake. The team had several projects that were either recently completed or upcoming so planning was full-steam ahead. The CAT had their first “Christmas Stroll” in November 2018 and their 5th Annual Souper Bowl Food Drive was scheduled for the end of January 2019. In February 2019, the team hosted their first “Movies for Grownups” event at the WYO Theatre. It didn’t take long before this ambitious group of volunteers had an event planned in the Sheridan community every month.

Wanting to bring awareness to their new Community Action Team and recruit new volunteers, the team developed a brochure highlighting their purpose, programs and activities that were upcoming, and an invitation to join in their shared goal of community service. They also spread the word by appearing on their local radio talk program, “Public Pulse,” which provided an opportunity for them to inform the community of their presence and upcoming events. The CAT is also a member of the Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce and one of their team members is a Chamber Ambassador. This is an excellent partnership that allows for a variety of businesses and organizations to collaborate with and support one another. Partnerships with The Hub on Smith, Elmcroft/Sugarland Ridge, the VA Health Care System, Fulmer Public Library, the WYO Theatre, the Senior Center in Buffalo, and the Tongue River Community Center, to name a few, are evidence that the CAT is making a positive impact throughout Northeastern Wyoming.

Desiring to offer a variety of programs and events that would benefit the community, the team had their work cut out for them. They planned and executed ShredFest events where citizens could safely dispose of confidential documents, their first ever Golf Tournament for Veterans, and their annual Souper Bowl Food Drive. They’ve been part of “Third Thursday” which is an event held downtown during the summer months and they’ve hosted several Fraud Watch presentations at the local senior center.

The Sheridan Community Action Team is always looking for more people to join with them in offering events that are educational, community-service oriented, and fun! If you are interested in volunteering with AARP Wyoming’s Community Action Team in Sheridan, they meet on the third Tuesday of every month at 5:30 pm at The Hub on Smith. To volunteer, contact Tanya Johnson at: tajohnson@aarp.org or 307-432-5810.

This story is provided by AARP Wyoming. Visit the AARP Wyoming page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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