AARP Founder Ethel Percy Andrus led by example when it came to serving others. A life-long advocate for those in need, her tenacity and commitment carries through AARP’s work today. Andrus’ giving nature in service of her community informs the association’s continued efforts, including valuable contributions from AARP’s incredible volunteers.
In a special Texas Bullhorn Facebook Live broadcast, AARP Texas Director Tina Tran spoke with AARP Vice President of Volunteer Engagement Megan Hookey about why people volunteer, as well as how to continue serving others in our virtual world.
“We’re able to leverage those good-hearted parts of our being all across the country to help other people,” Hookey said. “Whether we do it naturally or maybe we need to be reminded, we know that people want to show up and help make a difference.”
And people continue to show up, at admirable rates: roughly 60,000 people choose to give up their free time and volunteer with AARP, Hookey said.
People volunteer for different reasons, but one of those reasons is social connectedness. “It’s a chance to meet others, to learn new things, to do something that is important in other people’s lives,” Hookey said. “They’re thinking beyond themselves.”
Volunteers often care most deeply about making a difference on issues of personal relevance, and because of the breadth of AARP’s work, there is something for everyone: volunteers can help people prepare tax returns, inform older Texans about scams or frauds or help with driver safety education. They also work with the state office to make sure elected officials know about AARP’s priorities like affordable healthcare and livability.
With the pandemic adjusting the way we live, AARP has had to get creative with how we serve our communities.
“The good news is there are many ways to volunteer from home,” Hookey said.
The AARP Create the Good website is devoted to virtual volunteer opportunities and allows users to search for a specific issue of concern.
This story is provided by AARP Texas. Visit the AARP Texas page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.
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