AARP chapter seeks members

Published 8:47 pm Thursday, April 19, 2018

The AARP 4030 chapter in Suffolk spends its time educating seniors and serving its community, but the chapter also is looking for new members.

Chapter members go out to other neighborhoods and talk to the community to raise awareness about their AARP chapter.

“Our purpose is to help older people or anyone else that does need help,” said AARP President Margaret Lockhart.

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Part of their education comes from paying attention to the legislature — federal, state and local — by reading newspaper and having guest speakers.

During their meetings, the legislative chair brings news clippings to tell the members what has been going on with bills and other things regarding seniors. Occasionally they will even have guest speakers to educate them about the government.

At the chapter’s last meeting, City Councilman Mike Duman gave an update from City Council meetings. Duman took the time to explain the proposed 4-cent tax rate increase.

The group spends the time educating each other and enjoying pot luck lunches, but they also take the time to give back to their community.

The chapter donates to Autumn Care and the Western Tidewater Free Clinic every other month. They gather supplies that both organizations need — books, toilet paper, toothpaste, toothbrushes and other odds and ends.

Chapter members also gather donations for the AARP food drive and donate everything to the Salvation Army.

The group also has a sunshine chairman, and they deliver cards and other items to those that are in senior homes or the hospital to cheer them up.

Having the chapter also gives seniors who have retired something to do once a month.

“Once a month, I know that this is my responsibility, and I enjoy getting to spend time with other seniors,” said Louise Baker, a longtime member of the chapter.

AARP 4030 meet at 11 a.m. on the third Tuesday of every month at Open Door Church, 816 Kings Fork Road. Membership is not required to attend the meetings, but if someone is interesting in being a member, they have to be at least 50 years old.

There are more than 1,300 of these chapters in the United States, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

During a recent food drive, AARP chapters and Virginia Retired Teachers Association units across Virginia collected more than 15,000 pounds of food for families struggling with hunger in the state.