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Iowans Encouraged to Volunteer On 9/11 Remembrance Day

Psychologists say volunteering can create a "happiness effect" comparable to a life-changing salary boost. (pixabay)
Psychologists say volunteering can create a "happiness effect" comparable to a life-changing salary boost. (pixabay)
September 10, 2018

DES MOINES, Iowa – Each year, 62 million Americans – 1 in 4 – volunteer in their communities, and Tuesday’s National Day of Service and Remembrance acknowledges what a difference those contributions make.

The remembrance day began after the 9/11 terrorist attacks took the lives of nearly 3,000 people in 2001.

Jeremy Barewin, associate state director of communications for AARP Iowa, says for many in the state, volunteering is a core value that allows them to show kindness by giving back.

"If there's any time of year to really be conscientious of that I think it's Sept. 11 and then just the days surrounding that, so we use September really as a springboard for volunteerism in Iowa through AARP," he states.

AARP provides advance training for volunteers who want to help seniors refresh their driving skills, file tax returns or learn how to protect themselves from fraud, including telephone scams and identity theft.

General information about volunteering with AARP can be found at aarp.org/volunteer.

Volunteering might seem like something retirees do, but people younger than 24 account for nearly 23 percent of all volunteers, nearly the same percentage as those who volunteer and are 65 and older.

Barewin says volunteers of all ages represent AARP as ambassadors at festivals or at the Iowa State Fair and serve as advocates for seniors on policy issues such as Medicare, Social Security and prescription drugs.

"AARP is also one of the largest organizations in the country to help seniors to file their taxes,” he states. “We have Tax-Aide stations, about 20 of them, across the state. We need people to help staff those centers."

AARP Iowa will host happy hours in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids this month where prospective volunteers can learn about the many ways they can get involved.

For more information or to register for one of the events, call 877-926-8300.

Roz Brown, Public News Service - IA