St. Petersburg, Fla. – Milagros "Millie" Cooper has been selected by AARP, the nonprofit organization for people 50 and older, to receive the 2014 AARP Florida Andrus Award for Community Service -- the Association’s most prestigious and visible state volunteer award for community service.
AARP Florida selected Cooper for her remarkable service, which has greatly benefited the community, supported AARP’s vision and mission, and inspired other volunteers.
Cooper began volunteering at 17 in the Lower East Side of Manhattan mentoring young teenage girls. After her marriage to Palma F. Cooper and the birth of her two sons, Cooper became an active volunteer in Boy Scouts of America, served on the Hispanic Advisory Committee of New Rochelle and was a member of the Senior Council of Westchester in White Plains, New York.
Now, at 80 years old, Cooper continues her long history of volunteering in Florida as a volunteer facilitator for Hispanic Health Initiatives, Inc.’s cancer support group in Central Florida. She represents the organization at community meetings and helps facilitate the support group’s monthly meetings. As the only Hispanic health agency in Central Florida, Hispanic Health Initiatives and Cooper bring important cancer information and resources to the Latino community.
In addition to providing community resources, Cooper provides breast self-examination demonstrations at churches and other community groups in central Florida. More importantly, Cooper is the emotional support survivors need to know their goals and dreams of being alive and surrounded by family can come true.
“Millie epitomizes the kind of volunteer our founder Dr. Andrus must have had in mind when she described an ideal volunteer as one who ‘wants to serve rather than be served,’” said Doug Heinlen, AARP Florida State President. “Millie's work on behalf of cancer patients is inspiring to all of us members of AARP Florida."
Recipients across the nation were chosen for their ability to enhance the lives of AARP members and prospective members, improve the community in or for which the work was performed, and inspire others to volunteer.
“I am humbled and honored to have been nominated and ultimately chosen as the recipient of the 2014 AARP Florida Andrus Award,” Cooper said. “As a member of AARP since 1990, I am grateful for the work they do for the betterment of the Senior Citizens of our great country.”
The award will be formally presented to Cooper at a ceremony on October 11, 2014 at the Holiday Inn in Lake Buena Vista.
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of nearly 38 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services. A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world's largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin; www.aarp.org; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Español, a Spanish-language website addressing the interests and needs of Hispanics. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates. The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at www.aarp.org.