Biking for Books … All the Way Across the Country

Rich McKinless believes books are the way to open the windows of the world to children. So he spent the summer pedaling across America to raise awareness and money for literacy. McKinless, 57, of Arlington, Va., ended a 4,351-mile, “sea to shining sea” cycling journey on Sept. 28 and raised more than $45,000 for First Book, a nonprofit that provides access to new books for children from low-income families. He became acquainted with the organization while working at audit and …

Guardian Angels: Volunteering to Make an Impact

Nobody knew much about Roger. His niece had dropped him off at the nursing home one day, saying there was a family emergency. Could they keep him overnight? Days passed, and then weeks. Some thought that Roger’s niece had been pocketing his Social Security checks, and when authorities started catching on, she bolted. Whatever the reason, she never came back. Enter Mark Desmond, Roger’s volunteer guardian. Mark, a newly retired sales manager, was determined to find out all he could about Roger, …

‘Day of Service’ Kicks Off AARP’s National Event in Boston

The tables were stacked high with groceries: pasta, peanut butter, cans of peaches and beans. In front, an assembly line of volunteer workers packed them in brown paper bags and passed them along to be loaded into cartons for delivery to a food bank. “It’s fun,” said 66-year-old Ronna Davis of Stoughton, Mass., “and it’s a way to help people in need.” Davis, who had heard about the project on the radio, showed up with her lifelong friend, Esther Kaplan, …

Some Meals on Wheels Programs Feed Fido, Too

By Sue Manning, The Associated Press LOS ANGELES (AP) – If Meals on Wheels didn’t deliver donated dog food, Sherry Scott of San Diego says her golden retriever Tootie would be eating the pasta, riblets and veggie wraps meant for her. But thanks to partnerships between the program for low-income seniors and pet groups across the country, fewer people and pets are going hungry. After Meals on Wheels volunteers noticed a growing number of clients giving their food away to …

New Hope for Older People in a Disaster

It’s hurricane season. Yes, until Nov. 30. In May, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicted an active or extremely active hurricane season. That means we could see 13 to 20 named storms, of which three to six could be major hurricanes (categories 3-5).  This is well above the seasonal average. As we know from Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy, older people are particularly at risk during a hurricane. That’s true for all forms of disaster – natural, man-made …

Ideas to Help in Your Community on 9/11 and Every Day

On Sept. 11, 2013, nearly two-thirds of AARP employees will not show up for work. Instead, they will be gardening, painting, reading to children, sorting and cleaning eyeglass donations, making toys and blankets for shelter animals, offering hygiene kits and friendly conversation to the local homeless, creating cards for sick children; visiting nursing home residents, removing toxic plants from the pastures of a therapeutic horseback riding program, and preparing and serving breakfast at a soup kitchen.  All of this “giving …