Showing Compassion Makes a Difference to the Homeless

The steps of the bank seems like a perfect place to sleep. Mark (not his real name) stretches across the concrete. His belongings, stuffed into a luggage cart and grocery bags, spill out around him. He snuggles under a blanket and adjusts his wool cap. The blanket, his fleece jacket, three sweaters and his long pants should keep him warm. Twenty feet away an electronic billboard displays the time and temperature: It is 1 p.m. and 80 degrees. Emily Powers, …

A Warm Atmosphere at a Hypothermia Shelter

Soft, melodic piano chords fill the sanctuary of the Church of St. Clement in Alexandria, Va., early one morning. I get up from my cot to investigate. A man is thoughtfully creating music on the church piano. He pauses between chords, listening, thinking. “That’s beautiful,” I tell him. “You must be a professional.” Yes, he was, the former hip-hop musician tells me. He continues, speaking softly, gesturing with his hands. “Creating music is like building with Legos. It’s all about building …

You’ve Got Skills You Can Use in Retirement

Some people aspire to retire at 60, 62 or 66, reducing the amount of their Social Security payment by 20 percent. Others are in it for the long haul, planning to work to 70 and beyond. Indeed, 1 in 5 older adults plan to work after 66. Where will they work? Some companies have mandatory retirement at 70 — or earlier. Others may make exceptions for highly skilled employees. As you consider retirement, review ways you can be of added value …

Helping to End Poverty, One Person at a Time

“What does the world need me to do?” When Mark Bergel, 51, asked himself that question, his answer was to start A Wider Circle, a nonprofit in Silver Spring, Md., that provides everything from furniture to job training and clothing to support those in need. Now, 13 years later, Bergel, who serves as the organization’s executive director, is on a mission: End poverty in America. As I sort and fold donated baby clothes in the organization’s huge warehouse, Bergel, a 2014 CNN …

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 …

Long Island Weather Watcher, 101, Sets Record for Service

At 101, Richard G. Hendrickson is no weather wimp. He’s been reporting temperatures and conditions to the National Weather Service from his family farm on Long Island in Bridgehampton, N.Y., for 84 years – rain, shine, sleet or snow. For his faithful service, the National Weather Service recently honored Hendrickson as the nation’s longest-serving volunteer weather observer. A new 80-year service award has been named in his honor. >> Sign up for the AARP Health Newsletter  “I don’t think I …