— AARP Minnesota represents over 65,000 people across the state, and we’re proud to make a difference in the communities you live in.  We’re passionate about helping Minnesotans build a strong financial future, providing care for the caregivers, keeping your savings safe, finding ways for you to save, and more.  We rely on volunteers to help us carry out our mission, and we’re always looking for more people to join our efforts.  As a volunteer, you can make an impact in so …

— By Pamela Schmid When it comes to helping kids read, Shirley Dolland has an arsenal at her disposal: ballerina and car stickers, a giant green die for word bingo, even books she made herself about trips to the zoo and ice cream shop. “The challenge is trying to make things interesting for them,” said Dolland, 70, of Bloomington, a retired corporate manager who spends three afternoons a week tutoring kindergartners and first-graders at Hiawatha Leadership Academy’s Northrop campus in Minneapolis. …

— Know an extraordinary volunteer age 50 or older?  Want to help raise money for a worthwhile cause? You can do both by nominating someone for the 2017 AARP Minnesota Andrus Award for Community Service. AARP Minnesota’s most prestigious volunteer award recognizes individuals who are sharing their experience, talent and skills in ways that significantly enrich the lives of others. Only one individual or couple from Minnesota may be selected each year and AARP will make a $1,000 donation to an eligible nonprofit …

— This story was originally published on June 6th, 2016.  In anticipation of our upcoming AARP Serves event, which will take place at Bridging on Thursday, May 25th, we encourage you to read about Fran Heitzman and his work.  Please also consider volunteering at the event, which you can learn more about here. By Laura Ledray — Fran Heitzman knows what it means to be poor. He grew up during the Depression Era, a time when his father was happy to …

— One could refer to Marcia Ballinger in many ways.  Among other things, the Twin Cities native is an award-winning author, a Doctor of Organization and Management, the co-founder and principal of a search firm, and a French bulldog owner.  In 2016, Ballinger earned an additional title when she was named one of Minnesota’s 50 Over 50 winners. Ballinger’s career journey is rooted in Corporate America.  The holder of a degree in Business Administration, a master’s in Speech-Communication, and a doctorate …

— By Pamela Schmid To John Pfaff’s reckoning, there’s a tangible difference between writing a check to a local charity and donating one’s time, labor and know-how to one. “It’s the difference between going to a place and buying a table or going to a workshop and building it yourself,” he said. “There’s more of a sense of accomplishment there.” Pfaff, 68, of Burnsville, is among a small team of volunteers who organize events for AARP Serves, an initiative that brings …

— This spring, let AARP Minnesota buy you a beer.  We’re partnering with local breweries for multiple AARP On Tap events, and you won’t want to miss out.  These events are great opportunities for those who want to meet and connect with other members, learn more about AARP, or just enjoy a free brewery tour. Help AARP fight hunger in the Twin Cities while you enjoy some local craft beer.  Make sure to bring a non-perishable food donation, and in exchange, we’ll …

— AARP is working with Pollen Midwest, a nonprofit organization that promotes community building, to create the second annual Minnesota 50 Over 50 list. The crowd-sourced list will honor 50 Minnesotans 50 or older who are making a difference in their community. Last year, the competition received more than 350 nominations. The winners included an explorer in her 70s who leads women-only expeditions to Antarctica and a woman in her 80s who bought and renovated a historic performing arts venue. To …

— By Pamela Schmid When Vikki Casey Steward signed up to be an advocate for AARP Minnesota three years ago, she had “no idea the potential for impact the role offered beyond, for example, working the booth at the State Fair.” Instead, two weeks after signing up, Steward, 62, of Eden Prairie, found herself at the state Capitol, meeting with her state senator and representative. Soon after that, she met with her U.S. representative, Republican Erik Paulsen. “He was very receptive; …

— Marie Knapp knows what it’s like to be lonesome.  As someone who has moved frequently, she has felt what she calls “the sting of loneliness” that comes with a new town.  Born in Haiti and adopted by a couple from the United States, Marie spent her childhood moving around Michigan with her family, who often had to relocate for her dad’s job.  Once Marie graduated from high school, she continued to move—Georgia, Mississippi, Ghana, and Jamaica, among many other locations.  …