Dr. Martha Poole Simmons receives AARP Alabama’s most prestigious Volunteer award for Community Service
Montgomery – Dr. Martha Poole Simmons has been selected to receive AARP Alabama’s 2013 Andrus Award for Community Service. The award recognizes volunteers who made their communities better in ways that support AARP’s mission, vision, and strategic direction and that inspire others to volunteer.
“This award is a symbol to the public that each of us can create positive social change through our acts of service,” says Jesse Salinas, Alabama state director. “AARP has long valued the spirit of volunteerism and the important contributions volunteers make to their fellow neighbors and communities to create meaningful impact.
Dr. Simmons is a welcome sight to people across the country. For the past seven years, she has served with the Red Cross delivering food and supplies to areas devastated by disasters. She has helped victims of Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Sandy, the Nemo snowstorm and several other disasters. She usually has little notice and doesn’t know how long she’ll be gone. She spent three weeks on the East Coast after Hurricane Sandy struck, usually sleeping on a floor with no electricity or heat.
In Montgomery, she’s the Community Education Teacher and teaches local school children and teachers how to prepare for disaster. She also is the public affairs volunteer in central Alabama and is the spokesperson in the media.
In addition to her work with the Red Cross, Dr. Simmons volunteers at Baptist Medical Center South every Wednesday and helps the Salvation Army with its Christmas Angels Project and its coat drive. She also serves in the soup kitchen.
Dr. Simmons was instrumental in getting the Crump Senior Center moved to its new location on Congressman Dickinson Drive. She is president of the advisory board for the Friends of the Crump Center, a local senior center and wrote several grants to raise more than $20,000 for center renovations. She also manages the Tuesday Afternoon Bridge program for seniors, a program that continues to grow under her leadership.
She’s also an active member and volunteer at Frazer United Methodist Church, where she helps with the Christmas Angel Tree project and the Older Adult Ministry. She also makes time to visit seniors in the hospital and visits the sick in their homes.
For many years, Dr. Simmons participated in the Senior Olympics, playing tennis or swimming. She even made it to the national event one year.