Thank You, AARP Ohio Volunteers, You Make a Difference!

Posted on 04/22/24

April is National Volunteer Month. It presents the perfect opportunity each year to express our gratitude to our exceptional volunteers across Ohio.

AARP founder, Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus, urged 50-plus individuals to redefine the aging process and engage in “the great army of service.” She believed that by volunteering in their communities, older adults can inspire changes that will collectively strengthen the voice of the aging population.

In Dr. Andrus’ words, let’s give back to the community and find ways “to serve, not to be served.” It’s with gratitude that we thank AARP Ohio volunteers for their continued contributions to support our outreach programs and advocacy efforts, and fill leadership roles on planning committees, advocacy cohorts and our executive council.

“During this past year, our amazing volunteers have helped us empower Ohioans 50-plus to live their best lives,” said State Director Holly Holtzen. “From hosting in AARP Movies for Grownups locally to advocating with their lawmakers at every level of government on issues that impact older Ohioans, our volunteers make a difference in their communities and in our state. We sincerely thank you each of you for contributing your time, positive energy and talent to AARP Ohio.”

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One of the hallmarks of AARP is the relationship we have between our volunteers and staff. Together, we are a vital force in achieving the AARP mission by continuing to deliver strong support for Ohioans 50-plus.

Here are some recent outstanding examples of Ohio volunteers in action:

  • Cincinnati volunteer Veronica McCreary-Hall, who lives in Mason, has been an outstanding leader for both our Caregiving and APRN Scope of Practice advocacy volunteer cohorts. She also serves as an executive council member.
  • The following advocates have raised awareness about protecting Social Security at workshops and public events across the state: Diane Byrd of Cincinnati, Tudor Fernando of Hilliard, Sandy Houpe of Westerville, and Krishna Jayakar of Groveport.
  • Cleveland volunteer Millie Sretenovic, who lives in Brecksville, was recognized for her statewide leadership in advocacy at our 2023 volunteer awards event. She is also a strong advocate for AARP’s financial resilience campaigns, and routinely rounds up volunteers to screen calls for our tele-town-hall events.
  • In late February and early March, 28 Cincinnati volunteers covered the city’s home and garden show for six days. Visitors to their booth took a brief quiz about ADUs and the city’s recent ADU ordinance. Volunteers also passed out the “ABCs of ADUs” guide and shared volunteer opportunities.
  • Columbus volunteers Patrick Heard and Krishna Jayakar stepped up to co-chair the Central Ohio volunteer meetings. This dynamic duo coordinates the location and content of the volunteer meetings, providing engaging and informative meetings for attendees.
  • Cleveland volunteer Semanthie Brooks, who lives in Macedonia, currently serves on the Ohio Advisory Council for the Aging. She is a strong advocate for older Ohioans and family caregivers. Among her contributions, she was featured in the “I Am a Caregiver” video, and she is panelist at our 2024 Volunteer Spring Summit session on family caregiving.
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While we acknowledged a few of our volunteers here, we know that our state team of volunteers is strong, skilled and committed to making a difference for all Ohioans. We sincerely thank all our volunteers for contributing their support and wealth of experience to AARP Ohio.

Take a look at our website for a list of volunteer opportunities—both in-person or from-home opportunities to improve the lives of older Ohioans and their families! If you’re interested in volunteering for AARP Ohio, fill out our volunteer interest form.

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

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