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AARP AARP States Wyoming Volunteering

Goshen County Team Develops Senior High Tech and More

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Tanya Johnson/AARP Wyoming

Faced with the realities of low population density, and high human services needs, the Goshen County Community Action Team (CAT) has found several unique ways to serve its community. The Goshen County CAT has focused its programming on educational opportunities, increasing awareness of vital support and community services, and combating social isolation.

The Goshen County CAT has sponsored programs such as Citizens’ Concerns for Today and the Future of Social Security; Medicare, and Medicaid--A Public Policy Forum; Concern Regarding Utility Rates in the City of Torrington; Development of New Senior Residential Center; Developing Intergenerational Friendly City Parks; presentations on protecting yourself from frauds and scams, and several Movies for Grownups events, to name a few.

The Goshen County CAT is also the birthplace of AARP Wyoming’s Senior High Tech, in which student service organizations work with those age 50 and over on their hand-held technologies such as ipads and cell phones. The program was the brainchild of Goshen County’s Bill Marsh, and over the last two years, better than 30 of these events have taken place around the state.

It is a group that sees its programs bring in between 75 and 100 citizens for each of their local events. Goshen County CAT members work hard to generate and send out reminders of events through the mail, as well as a series of reminder phone calls before scheduled events.

The Goshen County CAT’s Educational Awareness Programming Component is designed not only to increase the level of participation, but also to increase the level of vital information for our community of older adults. This type of enhanced participation also serves to increase social connection and reduce social isolation. Moreover, these programs provide easy access to educational awareness in a stimulating and participatory, yet non-threatening, approach.

“It never ceases to amaze me to consistently see very joyful faces during and following a substantive, meaningful, educational program,” says Anne Gardetto, Goshen County AARP Volunteer. “The positive cross-communication, the hugs, the laughter, the sharing of ideas/opinions - the human vibrancy that learning with others brings about. This is the very positive side of social connection, which further enhances the learning experiences for our senior adult population in AARP-sponsored educational programming efforts.”

Fighting social isolation is also a top priority for the Goshen County Community Action Team. Creating a strong sense of belonging for members of their community is of critical importance in serving the members of Goshen County’s diverse communities and in engaging their participation in AARP-sponsored workshops, programs, and special activities.

Providing a very warm, welcoming setting to each and every individual who has taken the initiative to attend particular AARP-sponsored programs provides the respect and dignity each and every guest deserves. This sense of belonging also encourages a higher level of active engagement in the designed programs in which they have elected to participate.

This sense of inclusivity will result in a truer reflection of the community in AARP-sponsored programs by age, ethnicity, socio-economics and in the continuing participation of community members in AARP-scheduled programs, activities, and projects.

To volunteer, contact Tanya Johnson at: or 307-432-5810.

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