Out in the Field

This is a guest post by Philip L. Graitcer and the third in a five-part series about a group of dedicated Rotary volunteers helping to eradicate polio in Kaduna, Nigeria.   After a day of practice, everyone’s ready to get going. We’re prepared, and we’re dressed for long, hot days in the sun. One team member, Al Bonney, 63, from Traverse City, Michigan, particularly stands out. He looks like a fisherman without any water to fish in. He’s wearing a fishing vest, a fishing …

Horse Sense Volunteering

Fran Burns of Baltimore County, Maryland, grew up on a horse farm, riding and showing horses. She recalls that the only time in her life when she wasn’t around horses was during college at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she studied broadcast journalism. After many years of working in the world of radio, and later, dental sales, Fran retired in 2006 to her horse farm in northern Maryland where she started volunteering with organizations that were …

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 …

Gifting Made Easy

Are you starting to feel the anticipation and anxiety of the Holidays? Well are you? No matter how much you plan, prepare, prod the spouse or pout the holiday season still makes most of our blood pressure rise sometimes between December first and the twenty fifth!  I have heard of every remedy imaginable to prevent this roller coaster of emotions, but honestly none of them work. However, now after living over a half of a century, I might just have the …

Celebrate Volunteers Through International Volunteer Day

Since 1985, on Dec. 5 each year, AARP has proudly taken part in the celebration of the United Nations International Volunteer Day. Our founder, Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus,  set one tenet in stone at AARP, and that is our motto: “To serve, not to be served.” She believed older Americans had much to contribute – in ability, in experience, and in desire to advance the public good – and likewise, that society had much to gain from its older citizens. It’s …

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.  …