Gray Power: Help others during Day of Service

AARP is founded on the principle, &8220;To serve, not to be served.&8221;

The depth of this commitment is reflected in AARP&8217;s annual Day of Service.

On this day, AARP closes its offices and redirects staff and its family of volunteers to give hands-on assistance in hundreds of communities across the country.

On May 11, 2006, volunteers and staff teamed up to provide key services and information to help improve the lives of others in their communities.

Some spent the day working at community-based organizations like food pantries, senior centers and assisted living facilities.

Some AARP members and teams worked with food banks to provide and deliver food to those in need.

Other volunteers made &8220;friendly&8221; visits to nursing homes throughout the state and visually checked for upkeep of standards, while other AARP volunteers and staff set up blood drives.

Some volunteers and staff were out in neighborhoods working on a variety of home modification projects.

Another team made modifications to homes occupied by senior homeowners.

This effort was part of a partnership to help rebuild neighborhoods by creating livable communities where families may buy affordable homes or remain in the homes they own as they age.

Others in their community were encouraged to support this year&8217;s Day of Service by volunteering at a local organization or by helping an elderly or homebound neighbor with basic chores and errands.

Together, they made a difference in the communities.

Mark your calendar.

On May 10, 2007 help us breaklast year&8217;s record for the number of volunteers and projects.

Please support our next Day of Service on Thursday, May 10, 2007.

And, if you&8217;d like to learn about other volunteer opportunities, call Rhonda Sweitzer at (866) 542-8167, or send her an e-mail at mailto:rsweitzer@aarp.org or visit www.aarp.org/about_aarp/community_service.

Dr. Marvin Copes, located in Maylene, is an Education and Community Service Volunteer for AARP Alabama. He can be reached by e-mail at mailto:mlcopes@charter.net