June Volunteer Spotlight: Rick Collins

Posted on 05/30/24

William “Rick” Collins was volunteering for a political candidate when he met AARP Pennsylvania’s Yocasta Lora, assistant state director representing Philadelphia, and several volunteers. Shortly after that meeting, Rick became an AARP volunteer.

“I retired for about the fifth time during the pandemic, so I thought volunteering with AARP would give me something to do and be around people. I also wanted to help veterans who are AARP members.”

He started by getting involved with an AARP Veterans Day event, a natural direction for the veteran who previously ran a veteran’s center in Oakland, California, and loved bringing different generations together with one goal in mind – to provide services to veterans.

His military background appealed to the discipline and focus of AARP, which, he noted, are much needed today.

“AARP is highly respected among folks. They have high standards and are nonpartisan. It doesn’t matter to AARP what political affiliation, religion, or race you are. They want to help everyone over 50.”

Key issues Rick believes in are public safety and quality of life.

“AARP Pennsylvania and Philadelphia’s Bicycle Coalition worked together on getting traffic cameras installed on Roosevelt Boulevard, a major thoroughfare in Philadelphia. The boulevard was like a racetrack and pedestrians were getting killed trying to cross. AARP also brought people together from all over, including the Philadelphia Parking Authority and city planners to get speed bumps on the boulevard and work on improving transportation options for citizens.”

What Rick enjoys most is the “connectedness” of AARP advocacy work.

“My children have told me they don’t believe Social Security and Medicare will be available to them,” he said. “This was shocking and disturbing to me. I’m really concerned about what will be left in the world for my children and grandchildren. I view my volunteer work with AARP as important because my family can see their Pop Pop is active in trying to solve these issues.”

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

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