News from AARP in Coastal Carolina

Posted on 07/14/20 by Suzanne Black

Coping with Covid: Taking Care of Volunteers and Staff
AARP Policy about in-person events during the pandemic

To protect the health and safety of our staff, volunteers and those they interact with, in-person attendance at events and activities by AARP state staff and volunteers is currently on hold. However, recognizing that activities are resuming and that there are situations where in-person attendance represents an important business need, here are clarified guidelines for approving requests for individual staff (and volunteers) to participate in certain activities. Here are the kinds of activities where in-person participation can be considered, and the conditions that must be met/agreed to.

In-person participation can be considered in the following activities:
1. Meetings with State or Federal Legislators/Elected Officials
2. Media Interviews
3. Other communications activities

Approval for other public appearances can be requested but will require a longer lead time to secure multiple approvals.

In-person participation can be considered under these conditions:
• There are no state or local guidelines prohibiting such an activity
• A mask must be worn by all parties when not being filmed or interviewed
• Social distancing is maintained throughout
• For works created by AARP, video/filming must take place outside
• Staff and volunteers involved must be comfortable and willing to participate; if at any time they feel uncomfortable or at risk, they are encouraged to halt or otherwise end their in-person participation.

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AARP Resources for Health and Volunteers
◼There are many other AARP resources for volunteers/members for dealing with the pandemic and for new ways to contribute their skills virtually.
For Virtual Volunteers
For more information, contact: or call:919-274-2598.

Volunteer Spotlight


In May, AARP NC Coastal volunteer Dr. Shirley Gerrior drew on her professional expertise as a clinical dietitian to lead three more "Self- Care 20/20" Zoom sessions.

The interactive sessions featured practical advice on staying socially connected and on maintaining physical and emotional well-being during the lockdown. Christine Conly and Shirley Bolden assisted with the series presenters.

And in June, Shirley, who retired from the U.S. Army Reserve as a Colonel, was featured with two other women veterans in a national AARP profile: Women Veterans Talk about their Military Experiences.

In July, Gerrior was also recognized as "Scam Stopper of the Month," by Attorney General Josh Stein for her work protecting Veterans and military families. Congratulations, Col. Gerrior!
Read their stories here


Military Appreciation
AARP salutes the service and sacrifice of America’s veterans, military, and their families. With four million members nationwide who have served our country,

AARP has a long history of providing free resources, important information, and local programming to meet their unique needs on family caregiving, fighting fraud through Operation Protect Veterans, re-careering through Work & Jobs, and helping them connect with their earned military service benefits. It’s quick and easy to access those free resources and other tools at

AARP and American Honor Guard placed over 3000 flags on Veteran and Family gravesites at Greenlawn Cemetery. WATCH video here:

On Memorial Day, May 25, AARP bid farewell to the USS Coast Guard Cutter Diligence as she embarked to Pensacola, Florida. Video can be seen on:

AARP volunteer Lt.Colonel Annie Nelson featured on National Women Veterans Appreciation Day:


Listen to the AARP Coastal Veterans hosted tele-town hall with Secretary Larry Hall of the NC Department of Veterans and Military Affairs, Chris Warguez, Assistant Division Chief of the Veterans Administration and Ret. Colonel AARP Dr. Shirley Gerrior.

Create the Good "Show Your Love" Contest

The Create the Good "Show the Love" Volunteer Contest has been extended through August 2. The contest invites the public to nominate exceptional volunteers in two categories – general volunteering and coronavirus-related volunteering. The winner in each category will receive a grand prize of $1,000 along with a matching donation to the charity of their choice from Cabot Creamery, a long-time supporter of CTG

Resources for Understanding & Combating Social and Racial Inequality

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” -- Nelson Mandela

"It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences."-- Audre Lorde

Recent tragic events in the U.S. underscore what it is to be Black in America and around the world. These are difficult times impacting the lives of our families and communities’. The issue of racial injustice and disparities is complex, deep-seated, and can feel overwhelming.

Tackling these issues is an ongoing national, state and local conversation. Our voices can be more powerful and unified when we all toward the same goal. On July 13, AARP Coastal NC and YWCA of the Lower Cape Fear in Wilmington, NC held a conversation on the Facebook Live.

◼AARP Coastal Carolina staff and volunteers met virtually June 30 to craft new ideas and actions designed to strengthen AARP’s outreach to senior voters in communities of color for the 2020 elections. We’ll draft a report based on that session that examines and proposes more effective ways to engage, inform, and empower, older adults of all colors and backgrounds in this critical election year. And our work will be incorporated in a national AARP Think Day for planning and action on July 15. AARP Coastal’s new intern, UNCW grad student Elizabeth Brunner, will work closely in this effort.

◼Among the nation’s communities and local leaders on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic are the more than 450 towns, cities, counties, and states enrolled in the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities.

Meanwhile, AARP Livable Communities and the National League of Cities are working together to document the strategies and solutions communities are implementing to keep their most at-risk residents safe during the global coronavirus pandemic.


Lenoir County joins AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities
Lenoir County enrolled in the World Health Organization (WHO) to become an Age Friendly county. It’s the first rural county in Eastern NC to join the Age Friendly network. Special thanks to Linda Rouse Sutton, Chairperson of the Lenoir County Commissioners, Dr. Alexis Welch, Lenoir Community College, School of Nursing and Betsy Griffin, Executive Director of the Lenoir County Council on Aging for their leadership and vision.

Learn how to make your community livable in this weekly lunchtime series.

AARP grants spark quick change

The AARP NC Coastal region received 25 applications out of the 87 grants submitted by locals non-profits to pursue the 2020 Community Challenge grant to improve our communities in eight areas during the pandemic: transportation; housing; health care; outdoor spaces and buildings ;social participation; respect and social inclusion; work and civic engagement; communication and information ;community and health services.

The projects will begin in August and will be completed by December 18, 2020.

A 2020 Community Challenge committee selected ten of the grants which were submitted to the AARP National Livable Communities team to determine who would be the winners. AARP Coastal is proud to announce that Martin County Chamber of Commerce was a winner as well as two grantees from Charlotte and the Triangle area.

AARP Virtual Advocacy Lobby Day gets results

In May, AARP advocacy volunteers had virtual visits with two local members of Congress--David Rouzer (NC7) and Gregory Murphy (NC3). On the table, issues vital during COVID and the CARES Act: more transparency, staff support, and caregiver access in nursing and residential facilities; more support for municipalities, food banks and SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) programs; and tele-health care.

And a victory! Thanks to AARP’s work, the state has changed the rules for absentee balloting--making it safer, easier, and more secure at a time of difficult access.

Making nursing homes safe

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Dr. Catherine Sevier, AARP NC State President, has been giving media interviews about the recent change in nursing home regulation around the pandemic. The state legislature passed a bill to enforce COVID testing for all staff and residents of nursing homes in North Carolina as well as virtual visitation for families to see their loved ones residing in a nursing home; and more personal protective equipment (PPE).

Learn more about steps needed to make nursing homes safe.

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