Why So Few Veterans in Congress?

Why are there so few veterans in Congress these days? The end of the military draft 40 years ago and the gradual retirement and passing away of the World War II generation have contributed to a record low of 17 veterans in the 100-member U.S. Senate. >> Sign up for the AARP Health Newsletter. In the House of Representatives the total of 85 veterans – out of 435 members – is also the lowest since World War II. The high point …

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 …

Connecting Through Conversations

Bad drivers. Never listen. Take forever in the bathroom. Always look for a handout. Constantly complain. Based upon the list above, which age bracket do they best describe? This list of stereotypes was used to break the ice with a group of eight seniors (age seventy or older) and eight high school students (age eighteen or younger), where they were asked to raise their hands if they thought the statement referred to the other generation. After every item was read, …

Serving others makes you Rich

Recently, I was travelling across the upper plains, when I woke up to the thermometer reading negative 26 degrees. I hadn’t experienced these kinds of temperatures since I lived in Minnesota as a child. Yet, somehow, I forgot that the cold can really sting. I forgot that the weather can change drastically in an instant. I forgot that you don’t sit next to a drafty door in a coffee shop. I simply forgot that Jack Frost is still a formidable …

The Queen of Toilet Paper

This is a guest post by Margot Seay. Margot is AARP’s first National Volunteer Director.  Sarita McCaw of Walla Walla, Wash., can sum up her service passion in two words – “toilet paper.”  And her efforts around this humble commodity are making a real difference both for struggling families in her community and the organizations dedicated to their support. Why toilet paper, you ask?  Despite being a core necessity, toilet paper, or “TP,” is not eligible for purchase with food stamps.  …

Chief Volunteer: Giving Back, Making a Difference

During my two-year post as AARP’s President, I’ll be reporting here regularly on what I’m hearing and learning from the most interesting people in the world – AARP’s members and volunteers all over the country – and from the events and activities I have the privilege of addressing in my new position as chief volunteer spokesperson. “If it weren’t for Medicare, we’d be bankrupt, or I’d be dead.” I heard this powerful testimonial from a woman at a Tulsa senior …