Volunteer Spotlight: Elsie Flood, Lynchburg

Posted on 06/12/24 by Evan Jones

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If there is any volunteer duty Elsie Flood has not yet taken up with AARP, she may already be working on it. Among many other things, she has gathered apples at an orchard for local non-profits to distribute, volunteered at the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, lobbied in Richmond to advocate for redistricting and unpaid caregivers, pressed her U.S. representative to help enact lower prescription drug prices, and hosted or co-hosted AARP presentations on topics ranging from brain health to aging in place to downsizing and decluttering. In addition, as a U.S. Army veteran and 21-year Army reservist, Elsie has represented AARP at veterans’ recognition events. All that comes on top of appearances at many AARP Lynchburg-area community events for seniors and their families.

Elsie’s interest in advocating for seniors began in large part from her own experience watching and helping her mother cope with aging before she passed away at 92.

“When I started being a caregiver, I was not prepared. Now I can help others to be prepared in advance, knowing about resources and help for them.”

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These are just some of the many reasons Elsie’s contributions over the past eight years are being honored in this AARP Volunteer Spotlight.

“Elsie has been a long-standing purposeful volunteer team member and has impacted her community in magnificent ways,” said Brian Jacks, associate state director for community outreach for the southwest region. Noting the life-long Lynchburg resident’s many community ties, he added, “It is a real blessing that when she works on behalf of AARP as an ambassador, we benefit from these long-standing relationships.”

A primary AARP goal for its volunteers is to create rewards for those who donate their time, talents, and efforts, and Elsie Flood says her rewards are many. It starts with the satisfaction she receives hearing from people who say she has helped them in some way. Beyond that, she looks upon her varied experiences as a form of continuing education. “There is a wealth of information and knowledge that I gain from AARP that I don’t think I would otherwise get if I was just sitting at home.”

If you do not happen to come across Elsie Flood at any one of the many AARP volunteer activities, you might find her looking for others to join in, especially when wearing her volunteer shirt.

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“I don’t think some people realize how much AARP does. I’m constantly letting people know in my social circle or at my church, or wherever I am. My red shirt means a whole lot.”

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

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