There is strength in numbers, so by banding together we can accomplish much more than as separate individuals. That is the idea behind AARP.
They are dedicated to enhancing quality of life for all as we age by harnessing our collective power.
Most of us know them by their magazine and great discounts, many of which we often forget to take advantage of, but AARP also partners with many charities to help older Americans in more life-changing ways.
Our favorite part of their Life@50+ events is the Celebration of Service – the kick off to each of the get-togethers.
At the gathering in Miami, as part of the Drive to End Hunger, members joined with the Feeding South Florida Food Bank to pack 50,000 nutritious meals, and with the Society of St. Andrew to gather and package fresh produce donated by local farmers for delivery to at-risk seniors in the Miami area.
Several other volunteering opportunities were also available, such as putting together FEMA Emergency Preparedness Kits and making greeting cards to be delivered to nursing and veterans facilities.
This is all a part of AARP volunteers striving to Create The Good.
We chose to join another group that was heading out into the community with Rebuilding Together to lend a helping hand to a senior homeowner in need.
It was exciting to get to play a small part in their mission – to be of service to the elderly, people living with disabilities, and military veterans facing difficult times, giving them the chance to remain in their homes by providing much needed repairs.
For over twenty-five years, Rebuilding Together has modified, upgraded, or repaired 150,000 homes, with nearly 100,000 volunteers completing about 10,000 projects each year.
All of these are provided with no charge to the homeowners. Unfortunately, even those impressive numbers leave many people on waiting lists for much needed assistance.
WATCH: We collectively kicked butt at the Celebration of Service!
See if you can pick out your GypsyNesters (actually, it’s hard to miss us!)
Our group of AARP volunteers became a precision painting crew for an elderly South Florida woman, a retired nurse who spent her entire life helping others.
Okay, perhaps we weren’t quite precision — or the youngest chicks in the coop — but we were enthusiastic, and relentless. We split into two teams, and while one tackled the outside, the other took on the interior.
We scrubbed away mold, sanded and scrapped away old chipped paint, and then spread on the new.
We also had a wonderful time meeting and getting to know new friends from all over the country. The conversation, and laughter, flowed every bit as easily as the paint.
Within a matter of hours we had painted nearly the entire house – it was amazing how much we accomplished!
But for us this was just one day, Rebuilding Together is rejuvenating homes — along with people’s lives — all across America every day.
Their network includes affiliates across forty-one states and in the District of Columbia, so a project could be happening right in your neighborhood.
To find one, just click here to see if there is a Rebuilding Together chapter near you.
If there are none nearby, they are always in need of donations as well.
We can promise that there is no better feeling than joining helping hands to provide a better place to live for folks who just want to stay in their homes.
Housing is not the only challenge that many seniors are facing. Hunger is a growing problem with our aging population.
Learn more about it and some ways to help at Aging in Place.
David & Veronica, GypsyNester.com
YOUR TURN: Can you believe how much we got done in one day? Have we convinced you to look into Rebuilding Together?