Virginia brant picVirginia Brant of Glendale, Arizona, began volunteering for AARP eight years ago. As a volunteer, she’s committed to making a difference. So much so, that she was recently asked to become the Chair of Arizona AARP’s Advocacy Steering Committee.

Arizona’s Advocacy Steering Committee is a group of volunteers who spend a substantial amount of time at the state capitol advocating on important issues. These issues have included lobbying against predatory lending in pay day loans as well as supporting licensing requirements for family caregivers in Arizona.

“If AARP believes in an issue, then our volunteers take it on because it’s important to people 50+,” said Brant. “And it’s a rewarding feeling knowing as a volunteer that you’re making a difference in the community.”

In 2010, Brant and fellow volunteer and best friend Sigrid Whitman were honored with the AARP Arizona Andrus Award for Community Service. The Andrus Award is AARP’s most-prestigious volunteer tribute for recognizing outstanding individuals who are sharing their experience, talents and skills to enrich the lives of others. “It was really a surprise to be honored like that,” says Brant, “and it felt simply outstanding to be recognized for the work that Sigrid and I do as a team.”

Brant is also a volunteer with the All Arizona School Retirees Association (AASRA), the education arm of AARP. She serves as the health chair for AASRA, as well as on their legislative team. She works closely with both AARP and AASRA to advocate for retired educators.

Brant loves volunteering and the work that she is involved in with AARP in Arizona. Moreover, she feels she has learned a lot through her volunteering. “When you volunteer with AARP in Arizona, it opens your horizons and broadens your views on many important issues that affect not only people 50+ but everyone.”

Click here for information on volunteering with AARP.