Maggie Biscarr of AARP Foundation-Hunger, nudged her mother, Susanne Crass, to volunteer for AARP and “talked her up” to AARP Tennessee staff. Now, her mother, a retiree and cancer survivor, is also a co-lead for Life Reimagined.
When Susanne—a dyed-in-the-wool ‘people person’—told Maggie she was volunteering at her public library doing filing, Maggie encouraged her to check out Life Reimagined. “I liked the idea, so I went to the checkup and the guide training.” But there was a small challenge: Susanne isn’t a fan of public speaking.
Maggie's mom, Susanne Crass (Seated, 2nd from left), with AARP TN staff and volunteers.
Tennessee State Director Rebecca Kelly encouraged her to start out in the office providing support to current Life Reimagined guides. “It’s great and I’m feeling more comfortable,” she says, “I’m at the point where I might begin leading checkups” with another volunteer.
Susanne “loves the philosophy” behind Life Reimagined. “It can be life changing for people who may be going through what I went through.” She retired early (unplanned) after being diagnosed with leukemia to begin extensive chemotherapy.
She is grateful to her daughter not only for urging her to volunteer with AARP, but for being supportive in other ways. Following her recovery, Susanne particpated in a half-marathon for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Maggie, along with her brother, Kenneth Troope, helped Susanne raise a significant portion of $1,700.
Not only does Susanne enjoy volunteering, she loves the AARP Tennessee staff: “They are warm and welcoming. You get hugs from everybody!Tara Shaver (TN ASD-Community Outreach) has been so patient and supportive. I've never worked with anyone as professional yet easy to get along with.” For Susanne Crass, volunteering is a way “to do something constructive and positive for other people and to be around people.”