Best Life

Barbranda 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 my life. And traffic.

A Dollmaker Brings Cheer to Children

After her husband passed away in 2007 following a long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease, Reva Balogh searched for something to fill her time. Then, reaching into her own childhood, she found it. Balogh, 89, of Curtice, Ohio, is known these days as The Doll Lady. That’s because in the past six years, she’s made more than 1,600 dolls and donated them to charitable organizations, social service agencies, hospitals and the Ronald McDonald House, which distributes them to children. “I love …

T. Thomas Fortune: He Paved the Way for Civil Rights Organizers

W.E.B. Du Bois. Mary McLeod Bethune. Stokely Carmichael. Malcolm X. Martin Luther King Jr. These are names of civil rights leaders you’re likely to hear during Black History Month. But here’s one you may not: T. Thomas Fortune. You might say that Fortune was the forefather of civil rights organizers. In 1890, he founded the National Afro-American League, the precursor to a host of groups, including today’s powerful National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Fortune was born …

Vivian Davis, the Oldest Active Peace Corps Volunteer, Raises HIV/AIDS Awareness

Whenever Vivian Davis feels like doing something, she does it. So when she felt like joining the Peace Corps, she did – at age 78. Now 80, Davis is the Peace Corps’ oldest active volunteer. But not for long. She’s winding up a two-year assignment in Vaalbank, South Africa, a small, rural village 50 miles north of Pretoria. Davis has helped to raise HIV/AIDS awareness – distributing condoms, holding meetings about mother-to-child transmission of the virus, organizing data systems and …

Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush Unite for Afghan Women

Former first lady Laura Bush and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton have different political allegiances. But there is at least one thing they agree on: The women and girls in Afghanistan have made great progress since 2001, and that progress must be preserved and pushed forward. Both Bush and Clinton are active in promoting freedom and equality for Afghan women, believing they are essential to the economic and political stability of their country. They joined Secretary of State …

He’s Connecting Older Adults to the Web

You can call Terrell Danley Sr. a techie. At 81, the Washington, D.C., resident is fluent in the language of the Internet: downloading, Google Hangouts, social networks, apps, Web surfing, you name it. And he’s committed to plugging his contemporaries into the online world. Sign up for the AARP Health Newsletter Three days a week, Danley shares his love and knowledge of computers with his class of 12 older adults that is part of pilot program called AARP Foundation Connecting …