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This Volunteer Helped Build a Community Center and Rescue Local Meals on Wheels

A man speaks with three women at an art class
Tippecanoe Senior Center executive director Bill Glick talks with participants during a fine art class at the center in Lafayette, Ind. The center offers a mix of daily activities like art, exercises, bingo and card games.
Photo by Taylor Glascock for AARP Bulletin

Bill Glick humbly shrugs off any attempt to describe his 40-plus-year career working with nonprofits as a legacy.

The easygoing silver-haired Lafayette resident simply views it as “completing the circle.”

“I started my career working with young kids, and now I’m ending it working with seniors,” said Glick, 67, who retired last month after serving five years as executive director of the Tippecanoe County Council on Aging, which runs a senior center.

The agency hosts programs for older adults, including home repairs, transportation and hot meals, and offers a full slate of social activities, such as bingo, art classes and fitness groups.

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As its leader, Glick helped initiate and oversee the construction of the 144,000-square-foot, $16.5 million Northend Community Center; launched a free home-repair program; and rescued the local Meals on Wheels.

Wayne Howe, program coordinator for Meals on Wheels Greater Lafayette, said Glick’s efforts to preserve the weekly home-delivery service resulted in doubling the number of meals provided—to about 200 a day.

“Bill is an absolute advocate for the seniors in our community,” Howe said. “He has a big heart for them.”

As an AARP legislative volunteer, Glick advocates at the statehouse in Indianapolis on issues affecting older residents, such as hunger and caregiving.

His in-depth knowledge and enthusiasm to fight for positive change make him exactly the type of volunteer AARP wants in its ranks, said Sarah Waddle, AARP Indiana state director.

“Issues like better access to health care in rural areas or lower prescription drug prices are not going to change unless older Hoosiers make their voices heard,” she said.

Ongoing need for volunteers

Over the course of his career, Glick has also helped children and teens, as well as adults with substance-use disorders and mental health challenges.

He’s advocated at the state and federal levels for programs that make a positive impact on people of all ages and abilities.

Glick hopes his work to keep older adults active and learning new things sets a good example for others.

“The most important thing in working with seniors is breaking through the stereotypes that are all around us in society,” he said. “Older adults can learn new skills. They can learn how to paint, how to play cards, how to shoot pool, how to line dance.”

Glick said he challenges individuals to push themselves a little further, to realize there’s always a new milestone to achieve.

When someone claims to be too old to do something, Glick said he’s quick to reply, “Well, what the heck does that have to do with it? Get up and move!”

Communities need more dedicated volunteers like Glick, Waddle said. She added that AARP Indiana is particularly looking for those interested in helping make their communities more livable for people of all ages by advocating on issues such as transit and housing.

AARP has a variety of programs, such as Tax-Aide and the Fraud Watch Network, through which people can offer their help.

Volunteer by contacting Dan Domsic at ddomsic@aarp.org or 317-778-9108. And learn about upcoming volunteer opportunities at aarp.org/in.

Diana Lamirand is a writer living in Noblesville, Ind.

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