I had the honor of speaking at the AARP North Carolina State Office Multicultural Outreach Awards Dinner on May 21 at the historic International Civil Rights Center and Museum in Greensboro, N.C. The event celebrated the contributions of six organizations that are giving “the most” to improve the quality of life for North Carolinians.
I was moved by the commitment and monumental work each of the six organizations is doing to make a difference in the lives they serve. During the event the founders identified their individual passion and personal calling that motivated them to address the needs of people they care about the most.
The six are an impressive group. They are:
- Healing With CAARE Inc. As a result of a pastoral challenge to “do something,” it provides holistic health and wellness services to those without health care.
- The Center for Outreach in Alzheimer’s Aging and Community Health (COAACH). Born from the founder’s personal experiences as an Alzheimer’s caregiver, COAACH is working to reduce the emotional and financial burden of caregivers and loved ones.
- The Universal Institute for Successful Aging of Carolinas (UISAC). Born out of the founder’s challenges of being an immigrant, the organization develops holistic health and civic engagement programs that empower refugees and immigrants.
- The North Carolina Indian Economic Development Initiative (NCIEDI). It advocates and facilitates economic development and entrepreneurial tribal support for the American Indian community.
- The Latin American Coalition. It promotes equality and justice and helps individuals become their own advocates and change agents.
- Gdavis Production. This organization produces stage plays with a purpose to change lives.
It was moving to hear how each of the recipients responded to a call to action to take bold steps to serve with a purpose and to change not only their lives but the lives of others. It made me think about my purpose, my service to the community and the legacy I want to leave.
It also seemed fitting that the event was held in Greensboro, the city where the historic lunch counter sit-ins were begun by four students from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. Their act of courage during the civil rights movement helped improve the quality of life for all African Americans.
So, what’s your call to action? Have you been called to do something that will change someone else’s life? Is there something in your community that you’ve always wanted to do that will affect others? I believe there is a calling for each of us to “do something” that will not only personally fulfill your life but others’, too.
Felicia Brown is AARP project manager for financial security.
AARP helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities , strengthens communities and fights for and equips Americans 50 and older to live their best lives. Discover all the ways AARP can help you, your family and your community at AARP Black Community, and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.
Photo: Courtesy of AARP North Carolina
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