There are several excuses Don Cushman of Thayne could use to avoid volunteering with Habitat for Humanity - he is nearly 60 miles away from a build site, he is 77 years old, and his knee doesn’t work quite like it used to.
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.
AARP Wyoming’s Casper Community Action Team (CAT) came to life in March 2018 as the first of its kind in the state. Community Action Teams are the new version of AARP Chapters and offer opportunities for like-minded people to engage in their communities in positive ways.
AARP has had a presence in Sheridan County since May 18, 1970, when the first Chapter was organized. The Chapter had a cadre of volunteers to conduct community service programs. One of the major projects of the Chapter was to assist the Sheridan Memorial Hospital in conducting its annual health fair, which provided an opportunity for the community to come to the hospital and obtain health screenings, lab testing, and meet with providers to discuss their overall health conditions. At its peak, the health fair drew over 5,000 people who came to the hospital for lab draws. Over the years and under numerous presidents, the Sheridan Chapter made positive impacts in the community serving older Americans.
In 2018, AARP Wyoming decided to transition one town into a Community Action Team (CAT), the first in the state. This was uncharted territory and the correct path to make this new attempt work was unclear. What was clear, however, was who stepped up to lead in this new endeavor, Barbra Summers, who stepped up and quickly made Casper’s CAT a hot spot for her community to get together.
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