Do you know a volunteer, over the age of 50, who’s made a significant impact on your neighborhood? Now’s your chance to get them recognized - nominate that volunteer superstar for AARP’s most prestigious community service award.
“I enjoy reading and I enjoy learning,” said Ms. Janie Simmons. After retiring from a 40+ year career with the government, Ms. Simmons didn’t know what she was going to do. “I wasn’t going to let the dust accumulate under my feet,” she explained.
On Sunday, September 11th and Monday, September 12th, AARP DC volunteers and staff participated in the AARP Foundation's Celebration of Service Meal Pack Challenge. This year's Celebration of Service event paid tribute to all the veterans and retired first responders who have given so much of their lives in service to others. It also lifted senior poverty out of the shadows and shined a spotlight on the needs of older adults who are struggling to secure the essentials. With the help of over 3,000 volunteers, we packed 1.5 million meals for our region's struggling seniors!
Two of the most famous events of the civil rights movement happened in places I have called home. The Freedom Riders, who sat in at “lunch counters” and helped integrate public buses, are legendary in Mississippi, where I spent my childhood and graduated college. And in Illinois, where I was born, the Chicago Freedom Movement called national attention to the plight of Americans forced to live in slum tenements. In both cases, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Black history icon I most admire, brought leadership, hope and inspiration to people by leading marches and by expressing their dreams with riveting oratory. The day we lost Dr. King is scorched in my memory; the south side of Chicago, where I lived at the time, seemed to implode around me. At eight-years-old, I can remember the violence and the anger, but my most poignant memory is the grief. I watched my young mother sobbing. She was inconsolable. In our grief, we thought Dr. King's dreams died on April 4th, 1968.
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