By Maren Turner, AARP Kansas Director
National Volunteer Appreciation Week, April 21-27, 2013, is a time when volunteers across the nation will be honored and recognized for sharing their time and talents in their local and global communities. Volunteers provide a wide range of unpaid services throughout the year and will be honored for their work in health care, education, religious and community settings. But no matter where you find a volunteer, you find a special person who cares about making life better for someone else.
At AARP, every week is volunteer appreciation week. Our founder, Ethel Percy Andrus, created the motto “ To serve, not to be served” more than 50 years ago and that motto still guides our work today. Staff and volunteers work very closely together here in Kansas to serve the needs of our more than 335,000 members. AARP volunteers, trained by the IRS, provide free tax assistance, saving taxpayers thousands of dollars in filing fees. Volunteers teach our Driver Safety classes, assisting Kansans with brushing up on their driving knowledge. AARP volunteers passionately advocate on behalf of our mission with elected officials, including our Members of Congress and our state legislators. Our local AARP chapters and KARSP (Kansas Association of Retired School Personnel) education units across the state provide a variety of much needed services in their communities. And our leadership volunteers, including our newly appointed volunteer state president, Glenda DuBoise, members of the Executive Council, the Diversity Council, and our issue experts develop and provide recommendations that help shape the strategic direction of the AARP Kansas state.
Without our volunteers, all of whom donate countless hours of their time and energy, our jobs would not be nearly as interesting, and we would not have sufficient resources to accomplish our goal of helping people realize the possibilities available to help them improve their lives. Our volunteers are dedicated and committed professionals and we salute them.