Content starts here


AARP AARP States North Carolina Community

A Different Kind of Holiday Party

holiday party 3 (003).jpg
AARP volunteers giving back this holiday season

Typical holiday parties feature lots of talk, laughter, food and drinks in abundance. For AARP volunteers in North Carolina’s Mountain Region, who actively enable people to choose how they wish to live as they age, this year's annual holiday party was very different, but every bit as memorable.

First, a little background: At one of our recent leadership meetings, the subject of a holiday celebration for volunteers came up, as it always does––the "what, where, and when" sort of thing. As we were discussing it, some began to feel uncomfortable about planning a festive get-together in the midst of a lot of uncertainties for so many, whether financial, health-related, or personal. Was a party for ourselves the best way to hold an end-of-year volunteer event?

Finally, one of the volunteers at the meeting voiced their thoughts, and discovered they were speaking for many others. Wouldn’t we rather spend the time and money as we usually do, in service to others? It took the group about one minute to change the party idea to a work-party idea.

The resulting volunteer event (and preparations in advance of it) became an outpouring of love and care … but fun, too. We decided we would offer personal items in individual gift bags for older men and women—toiletries, warm socks, etc.  Two volunteers contacted local organizations that provide aid to those in need to identify about 60 of their most at-risk older clients. The organizations agreed to include our gift bags in their food deliveries to those people.

On “party night,” about 15 of us gathered in a small classroom at the Asheville Visitor Center in Montford to assemble the gift bags, sign cards for each recipient, and enjoy one another’s company. It was so easy and rewarding! It turned out to be as much a gift to ourselves as to the people who are now enjoying a little surprise from their local AARP.

On behalf of all of the AARP volunteers in the Mountain Region, happy holidays!

About AARP North Carolina
Contact information and more from your state office. Learn what we are doing to champion social change and help you live your best life.