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6 Best Volunteer Opportunities for AARP Members

By    |   Thursday, 02 Nov 2017 11:39 AM

The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) exists to help seniors live healthy, active lives.

As part of its vision, the organization runs the AARP Foundation, which helps Americans over the age of 50 facing social or economic risk. The foundation also runs a number of initiatives which help seniors find fulfillment by volunteering to help improve their communities.

Seniors looking to volunteer for specific causes in a specific area can use the AARP’s handy Volunteer Wizard to find the perfect fit. Many of these programs offer seniors the chance to use their unique skills and experience for good.

Here’s a look at some of the organization’s best volunteer opportunities:

1. Help fight fraud — Run as a collaboration with the Colorado Attorney General’s office, AARP Foundation’s ElderWatch program helps fight fraud on two levels.

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On one hand, volunteers educate at-risk adults about scams making the rounds, how to spot potential fraud, and how to report it. At the inbound call center, tech savvy seniors assist with investigating potential scams and mediating actual fraud cases.

Those who are less comfortable with their computer skills can still help by fielding calls for the AARP’s Fraud Watch Network.

2. Cut tax confusion — You don’t necessarily need to be good with numbers to volunteer for AARP’s Tax-Aide program run in conjunction with the IRS.

Essentially, the program offers tax-filing help to those who need it most by helping with free tax preparation. Volunteers can help in number of different roles.

The program desperately needs volunteers who speak a second language, but those with great people skills can also offer their time as client facilitators or communications coordinators.

Other positions include administrative and leadership roles and technology coordinators.

Simply fill in the Tax-Aide volunteer application form to get started.

3. Create safer roads — Help foster more conscientious drivers with AARP’s Driver Safety initiative.

Ove the last 35 years, 16 million drivers around the country have already taken part in the organization’s Smart Driver courses, which are taught in classroom setups by AARP volunteers.

When signing up, volunteers are provided with all the necessary teaching tools needed to teach the safe driving curriculums in their communities.

Fill out an application form on the AARP volunteer website to get started on your safe driving journey.

4. End social isolation — The AARP’s Connect2Affect program is probably one of the simplest and most important ways to volunteer.

According to AARP statistics, 57 percent of seniors over the age of 75 live alone, and feelings of loneliness can increase their risk of death by 26 percent.

Connect2Affect addresses the issues around social isolation by creating a network of resources and social connections.

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Visit the Connect2Affect website to see how you can get involved.

5. Help the next generation — In its marketing material, the AARP Foundation often says: “It’s never too late to change a future” and that’s exactly why it started the Experience Corps.

At its heart, the program sees seniors matched with children in desperate need of tutoring and, more specifically, reading. The idea is that older people with time to spare can step in and educate younger generations to help end the cycle of poverty.

Volunteers generally spend 6 to 15 hours a week on the program assisting with one-on-one tutoring, small group tutoring, or literacy assistance where they help teachers with classroom activities.

Their assistance is invaluable and, according to AARP, children who’ve gone through the program see up to a 60-percent improvement in their literacy skills.

Sign up with the Experience Corps to start making a difference in your city.

6. Get involved with voluntourism — If you’re planning a trip abroad, or looking for an excuse to travel, you may want to consider AARP’s international volunteer opportunities.

These range from helping seniors around the globe, to advising Chinese organizations on international best practices and standards.

Contact AARP International for more information.

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The AARP Foundation runs a number of initiatives which help seniors find fulfillment by volunteering to help improve their communities.
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