Best Life

Barbranda Lumpkins Walls is a features editor for AARP Media who spotlights everyday people doing exceptional things. These folks might not make national news, but they deserve a shout-out. She loves pop culture — especially food, fashion, television and R&B music. Family, friends and spirituality play important roles in her life. And traffic.

Meet 6 Inspiring Do-Gooders Changing the World

En español | An Episcopal priest and a former judge. A journalist and an artistic director. A doctor and an advocate for impoverished women. They’re the winners of the 2015 Purpose Prize, which recognizes people over age 60 who combine passion and experience to find new ways to solve tough social problems. The prize, announced Nov. 13 by the nonprofit Encore.org, will award a total of $225,000 to the recipients, selected by a jury that included such notables as Michael …

For World Kindness Day, What’s Your Good Deed?

Several months ago my parents and I had breakfast at a neighborhood restaurant in Cleveland. After finishing our meal I asked the server for the check. “It’s already been taken care of,” she said. “What?” I asked, thinking I had misunderstood her. She explained that another patron paid our bill and left. “He does stuff like that all the time,” she said. My parents and I received a random act of kindness. And it made our day. Donate to help …

How AARP Helped One Homeless Vet

John Cherry had no job, no money, no home. What he did have were debilitating health problems and drug and alcohol addictions. “I hit rock bottom,” says the 60-year-old Washington, D.C., resident. But a year later the Navy veteran is on a path lined with hope. Guided by the Legal Counsel for the Elderly (LCE), an affiliate of AARP, Cherry secured a $1,400 monthly pension he was entitled to through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs plus more than $12,000 …

Understanding Oprah

I’ve had the good fortune to interview a raft of fascinating folks during my 30-plus years as a journalist: Lionel Richie, Shirley Chisholm, Gwendolyn Brooks, Stokely Carmichael (aka Kwame Turé) and many more. But the one person I yearned above all to share time with, Oprah Winfrey, eluded me. I’ve long admired her as a woman who, despite meager beginnings, made it big and shared her wealth with others. Say what you want about Oprah, but you can’t deny that …

How to Get Food to More People Who Need It

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced this week a proposed program to improve access to groceries for homebound older Americans and people with disabilities who participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the food stamp program. AARP spoke with Vilsack about the pilot program and food insecurity among older adults. How will the program work? And why is it important? This program will fund 20 eligible entities — government or nonprofit organizations — that will allow …

Library of Congress Offers Free Book Service to Visually Challenged

AARP Bulletin and AARP The Magazine are among the periodicals and 150,000 books available to visually or physically challenged Americans through a free service of the Library of Congress. With the help of a nationwide network of libraries, the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) mails Braille publications and audio books to your door. You can also download them using the BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) mobile app. About 150,000 books and 75 magazines are …