— Texans living in rural areas continue to struggle with access to broadband internet, a utility that is increasingly essential to everyday life. As connectivity becomes mandatory for the requirements of everyday life, including access to education, health care, job applications and bill pay, more people are being forced to choose between the high cost of at-home service or being cut off from the modern world. To help develop community-driven solutions, Glasshouse Policy recently hosted a town hall and stakeholder event …

— By Tom Korosec On a chilly day late last October, Bob Bonilla and other AARP volunteers grabbed brooms and paintbrushes and went to work making their Fort Worth neighborhood more walkable and age-friendly. They painted curbs and crosswalks and created a “pop-up” traffic circle to slow vehicles and make their gentrifying neighborhood safer for pedestrians. “Earlier we did a walking tour to identify some of the problems,” said Bonilla, 67, a retired schoolteacher. They noted that residents of a nearby …

— How can we improve our cities and neighborhoods to enhance quality of life as we age? A recent symposium on aging in Austin emphasized a simple common theme: let holistic community solutions take center stage. The Livability for Longevity symposium was co-hosted by the LBJ School of Public Affairs and AustinUP, a local non-profit aging organization focused on the fact that the greater Austin area has the nation’s fastest growing population of people age 55 to 64. The panel discussions focused on …

4 States

— “The human contribution is the essential ingredient. It is only in the giving of oneself to others that we truly live.” –Ethel Percy Andrus, founder of AARP During National Volunteer Week, it is important to reflect on what it means to be of service to something larger than ourselves. Founded in 1974, National Volunteer Week was established to raise awareness around service opportunities and non-profit organizations across the nation. Dedicating a week out of the year to volunteer helps remind …

— As we age, our eyesight and reaction time steadily declines, and in a big city like Austin, the drivers that share the road tend to be less than friendly. Public transportation lessens the risk of vehicular accidents, alleviating the stress of being behind the wheel (especially during rush hour). Pat Thomas, an Austin resident and AARP member, started a group called Roll & Stroll in 2015 to help show others the convenience and practicality of public transportation, while touring new …

— If you haven’t filed your income-tax return yet and need some help, don’t worry – free, qualified assistance is available near you. The AARP Foundation’s Tax-Aide Program offers no-cost services to low- and moderate-income Texans at hundreds of locations for help in preparing and filing federal tax returns. Bart Hatfield, an AARP volunteer who oversees the Tax-Aide program as its western regional coordinator in Texas, said people don’t need to be AARP members to participate, so the program sees a …

5 States

— The favorite holiday of our proud state falls on Friday, March 2. While a weekend trip to the San Antonio Southside Missions is a popular way to commemorate our state’s independence, as a Texan, you’re probably not too keen on following the herd. Here are three rebellious ways that you can embrace your Texan identity and keep community close to your heart. Explore the Multicultural Lone Star State Houston was listed in 2017 as the most culturally diverse city in …

— Texas historian weighs in on Black History Month It’s midday at Huston-Tillotson University, and rows of offices are quiet, a lunchtime lull. Dr. Theodore Francis’ office, however, is buzzing with activity. As I sit talking to the professor, a series of students eagerly appear in his doorway. One student drops in to ask Dr. Francis what he missed the other day in class. There’s a moment between them, a sense of rapport. “I’ll see you in class,” Francis reminds the …

— By Thomas Korosec After Hurricane Ike struck Houston in September 2008, volunteers with the nonprofit Avenue CDC helped fix Angela Guerrero’s grandmother’s house. Now Guerrero is in a position to repay the favor by helping restore houses damaged by Hurricane Harvey in August. Guerrero, 31, is part of a small army of volunteers in nonprofit organizations who are helping to restore their communities in Harvey’s wake. Many are being helped by funds from AARP Foundation, which has invested $3.2 million …

— La Gran Tamalada, a free event hosted by AARP Texas, offers a hands-on way to learn how to make tamales. This year the festive workshop will be held Sunday, Dec. 17, from 3-5 p.m., at the Guadalupe Theater, 1301 Guadalupe St., San Antonio. In many parts of Texas, preparation of big batches of tamales is a family-centered celebration during the holidays. AARP Texas invites adults and children to learn about the ingredients, recipes and cooking methods involved. Held annually since …