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Donna Bolz of Lincoln Earns AARP Nebraska’s Highest Volunteer Award

Donna Bolz of Lincoln is the 2022 recipient of AARP Nebraska’s most prestigious volunteer award to people age 50 and over.

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Donna Bolz

The AARP Andrus Award for Community Service recognizes Bolz for her extraordinary record of service and the lasting impact she has made on the lives of others in her community.

As part of the award, AARP Nebraska has made a $2,500 donation to the Food Bank of Lincoln, on behalf of Bolz, who designated the nonprofit as her charity of choice.

Lauren Ritta, volunteer coordinator at the Food Bank of Lincoln, nominated Bolz for the award, noting that she has earned a reputation as a first-rate volunteer at the agency by exhibiting compassion, patience, warmth and respect toward all clients.

“When we expect things to be rough going, we ask Donna to give us extra help and she always does. Her spirit can be counted on to lift the atmosphere,” Ritta wrote. “Donna understands that seniors are a high risk group for food insecurity. She is passionate about making sure that the help we provide seniors is safe, equitable and dignified. Donna helps make us aware and thinking about how our spaces and services will work for people who are disabled or aging.”

Bolz tirelessly volunteers her services to numerous local organizations including:

  • The Food Bank of Lincoln, where she has served in various volunteer roles for nearly 40 years, logging over 500 hours in the past year alone.
  • Fresh Start, a Lincoln shelter for homeless women, where Bolz sorts donations and visits with the residents.
  • The Center for People in Need, where she assists at special events with distributions for hundreds of Lincoln families that depend on the center for food, clothing, home goods, toys and other necessities of life.
  • AARP Nebraska, where she helps to create, plan and host AARP community events for people age 50 plus and advocates on issues and legislation impacting quality of life for older Nebraskans.
  • Northgate Garden Estates, where she volunteers weekly at the front desk greeting people and answering the phone.
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Pictured left to right: AARP Nebraska State Director Todd Stubbendieck; Michaella Kumke, President & CEO of the Food Bank of Lincoln; Donna Bolz; and Lauren Ritta, Volunteer Coordinator of the Food Bank of Lincoln.

Bolz’s commitment to volunteering extends well beyond her individual efforts. Through her example and urging, she encourages others to get involved, attend benefits for local agencies and, whenever possible, give of their time and financial gifts to help people in need.

“She advocates daily for those who are homeless, in poverty or have special needs or health concerns,” said Janeen Ward, who also nominated Bolz for the award. “She consistently looks for ways to help others and wants to raise awareness of where help is needed in the community.”

“We are honored to bestow upon Donna Bolz the most celebrated award given by AARP,” said Suzan DeCamp, volunteer state president of AARP Nebraska. “Through her exemplary record of service, Donna demonstrates what it means to make a difference in the lives of others. AARP has long valued the spirit of volunteerism and the important contributions volunteers make to their communities, neighbors and the programs they serve.”

AARP chooses Andrus Award recipients across the nation for their ability to enhance the lives of AARP members and prospective members, improve their communities and inspire others to volunteer.

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