From meeting with their local legislators to writing op-eds on issues affecting older Texans, our volunteers are an invaluable part of AARP’s social mission.
Currently, AARP Texas has close to 400 volunteers – and we’re always looking for more.
“We want to provide options for people and we want them to do what they want to do,” said Charles Cascio, an associate state director of outreach and advocacy. “Whether it’s writing, advocating directly with your member of Congress or being active in the community.”
In a recent Texas Bullhorn Facebook Live conversation with Texas State Director Tina Tran, Cascio outlined what volunteering with AARP looks like and how to join our work improving older Texans’ lives.
Cascio, who works in federal advocacy, said he runs a volunteer team of advocates from across the state, educating them on issues and encouraging them to develop relationships with their legislators.
“Half of the people who work with us as volunteers have never really done advocacy before,” he said. “We provide tips about how and when and what to say in meetings with your legislators.”
Cascio says his team meets with their volunteer advocates once a month to provide federal and state updates, and the volunteers enjoy the nonpartisan, polished and specific information they provide. They also appreciate the comraderie with their fellow volunteers in their teams.
“Even the people who are closer to the 50 age range, who are still working, say they view it as a professional development opportunity to hone the skills they have, and be better people in the workforce,” he said.
For those particularly interested in a specific policy area like hunger issues, medical policy or caregiving, having a personal story to share with legislatures is incredibly valuable, Cascio said.
“Our goal is to have this body of volunteers that really reflects Texas,” Tran said, noting that diversity is a priority to represent the population of our state well.
Because Texas is so expansive – in land and population – Cascio said they’re specifically interested in volunteers from rural areas, but everyone is welcome.
To join our volunteer team, email email@example.com. Cascio stressed he’s happy to plug people into whichever area they’re interested in, even if it’s not advocacy.
“If you care about making life better for folks 50 and older in Texas we want to welcome you with an open door at any time,” added Tran.