— AARP is here to help you take on today – and every day. From sharing practical resources, to holding fun activities and events, AARP is providing opportunities to connect and help build an even stronger South Carolina for all ages to live, work and play. We hope you’ll join us!

— When disaster hits, AARP and AARP Foundation are there. They met the goal of $500,000 in matching donations to help victims of Hurricane Florence, ensuring that $1 million will go to relief and recovery efforts. AARP South Carolina announced that four Palmetto State organizations are getting assistance, including Home Works of America, a faith-based group that provides home-repair services to low-income residents. Home Works is looking for volunteers to help with ongoing recovery and rebuilding in the Pee Dee area. …

— Open enrollment in health care insurance marketplaces starts this month. AARP South Carolina reminds residents that the Palmetto Project, an independent nonprofit, is a great source of information on health care options and choices. South Carolina’s uninsured rate has dropped consistently, from 16 percent in 2013 to 9 percent in 2016, according to the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation. Palmetto Project has championed the rights of consumers to have free access to fair and accurate information about health insurance coverage choices …

— By Holly Fisher Several years ago, Donnell Baker and her husband, Medal of Honor recipient John F. Baker Jr., traveled to the VA Medical Center in Charleston. The Vietnam veteran needed a medical test. The Columbia couple planned to stay overnight, but John Baker had a reaction to the dye used in the test and had to stay in the hospital for a couple of extra days. Then he got pneumonia, and that one-night stay turned into 30 nights and …

— By Linda H. Lamb While Gene and Gayle Esarove aren’t globe-trotting jet-setters, they do fly to Texas every year to visit their son, and they have other family members scattered all over the country. That’s why they did all the paperwork for the federally required REAL ID even before it became available in South Carolina earlier this year. By October 2020, everyone who wants to board a commercial flight will have to show a new, REAL ID driver’s license or …

— It’s been 55 years since Martin Luther King Jr. gave his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech, changing the course of civil rights in America. AARP South Carolina invites members to celebrate the MLK holiday weekend, Jan. 12-15, in Myrtle Beach. AARP is a key sponsor of the celebration, which includes a 5K Freedom Run, film festival, ecumenical service, talent show and parade. Saturday morning will feature a job fair and workshops on contract possibilities for small businesses and the …

— By Linda H. Lamb When Jackie Green offered ideas on a new website for caregivers in the state, she kept thinking about the years she helped take care of her stepmother, then in her 80s. “I had to learn how to get help for her,” Green said, describing frustrating searches for services and information. State agencies helped steer her toward answers, but there were always more questions, on almost everything from financial aid to where to find pads for incontinence. …

— By Holly Fisher Steve and Doris Gleason bought a house in Pawleys Island, with plans to retire in five years. Then, at 52, Steve was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. He had exercised, eaten well and never smoked. “We never saw this coming,” Doris said. Suddenly all their plans were turned upside down. Ninety days after diagnosis, her husband of 25 years was gone. “We had one glorious summer at the beach,” Doris recalled. Steve was a planner, so …

— Perhaps you’re an empty nester. Or maybe you never raised kids but would love to have a grandchild. Either way, you can provide a loving home to a South Carolina child in need of foster care. AARP South Carolina reminds Palmetto Staters that they can make a critical difference in the life of a child by becoming a foster parent. Some 4,000 kids are in foster care in the state, and the typical foster parent is between 49 and 57 …

— The first regular session of the 122nd South Carolina General Assembly will convene on Tuesday, January 10, 2016. AARP South Carolina is ready to work on behalf of its 615,000 Palmetto state members. Need to find contact information for your  House or Senate member?  >> Click here 2017 South Carolina State Advocacy Priorities FAMILY CAREGIVERS – About 700,000* caregivers in SC provide vital services to their loved ones. Caregivers in our state need quality supportive programs and access to services …

— By Curtis Loftis, South Carolina Treasurer The holiday season is here and with it comes the age-old question, “What gift do I give my grandkids this year?” The usual sweater, toy or game may quickly be tossed aside or find its way to the back of a closet. I’m State Treasurer Curtis Loftis, here to offer you a better idea: This year, give a gift that will last. Give the gift of education by helping your grandchild on the path …