This is a guest post by Jo Ann Jenkins. Jo Ann is the president of AARP Foundation. She provides leadership across the Foundation areas of development, litigation, and impact program areas.
I’m declaring a moratorium on bad economic news. We read the papers, we watch TV, we tweet. We know the data is dark and dreary. In fact, every day we see the results of the economy in the faces of the people we help.
Today, though, I’m celebrating some good news, the kind of news that comes when people with big hearts and caring spirits put their heads together to help people who need it most. In other words, I’m celebrating all of you.
We introduced the Drive to End Hunger campaign in Orlando a year ago. Since then, we’ve served 3.4 million meals, funded ground-breaking research about hunger among the baby boomers and made friends of many NASCAR fans.
In New York, Los Angeles and Houston, we’re piloting Around the Corner Hunger, an online tool to drive desperately needed funds to local relief organizations; MetLife Foundation has already pledged $100,000 to match all donations from New York and New Jersey.
If you had asked me a year ago what our main hunger campaign vehicle would be, “Jeff Gordon, Rick Hendrick and the No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet” wouldn’t have been the first words out of my mouth. But we decided to take a risk and go beyond the obvious. And I’m so happy we did.
As of Sept. 14, thanks to this unique partnership, 94 million people have received the message about senior hunger and many people are supporting our mission. We love seeing you, the fans, wear the gear and get involved. You’re passionate, dedicated and we are so pleased to have you as part of the family.
In this summer of bad economic news, we’ve continued making good things happen at AARP Foundation. By focusing on the problems at hand, being flexible and remaining true to our mission, you are helping us help others!