Philip targeted on National AARP Day of Service

As it has since 2001, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) closed its offices and redirected its staff and members to serve people in communities throughout South Dakota. Nearly 400 AARP volunteers and staff spent May 10th working in their communities and making a direct contribution to improve the lives of South Dakotans 50 plus.

"Our national Day of Service is an important tradition. It is one of the ways that we at AARP South Dakota make a difference in our communities. Our efforts are closely tied to our mission of creating positive social impact in the State," said Sarah Jennings, State Director for AARP South Dakota.

On May 10th, staff participated in various projects across the state, especially in this year's three targeted communities. In Philip, the local chapter spruced up two of the community parks in advance of the town's Centennial Celebration. In Redfield, staff helped volunteers install and dedicate much needed picnic tables at a popular campground. The Yankton chapter arranged for entertainment at a local nursing home.

"While AARP volunteers are hard at work in their communities throughout the year, our Day of Service is special because important projects are being done simultaneously, and staff is setting aside their regular duties to give back," said Jennings.

In addition to the projects mentioned, the Black Hills Retired Teachers Unit in Keystone held an old-time school program for area school children; the Milbank Retired Teachers delivered cookies and pies to the local Senior Center; in Sioux Falls, the AARP staff joined the local chapter at the Furniture Mission helping organize and clean; the Rapid City Chapter collected more than 200 cheerful notes to be delivered to Veterans Homes and Hospitals across the state.

Nationwide May 10th, as well as in South Dakota, AARP staff and tens of thousands of AARP volunteers took time to reach out and help the most vulnerable in their own communities. AARP's National Day of Service started five years ago as a response to the tragedy of September 11th, and fulfills the motto of AARP founder Ethyl Percy Andrus, "to serve, not to be served."