Giving Back to Your Community
and Serving Others

Across the nation people are responding to a renewed call to get involved in their communities and give back in numerous ways. After all, in 2008, four in 10 people aged 44 to 79 told us they expected to volunteer more in the next five years. At a time when our country is experiencing economic woes, this new era of service provides great hope and opportunity for individuals to make significant changes in their communities. In particular, 50+ volunteers have the desire and the skills to lead the charge in their neighborhoods and communities, and AARP has the tools to engage them.

At AARP, we are committed to encouraging 50+ volunteers and their families to make a difference in their communities through Create the Good and, for our Spanish speaking members, Compartir es Vivir. We see Compartir es Vivir, our national volunteer initiative, as a critical act towards realizing the promise of this new era of service. We also understand the importance of engaging the Latino community---now 47 million strong---and providing resources that facilitate volunteerism.

According to AARP’s 2008 More to Give Report, Latinos express higher levels of interest in most volunteer activities than the general population, with half of Latinos ages 44-77 interested in volunteering in the future. Latinos also express eagerness to improve their communities as they are strongly bound by and care deeply for their families, and they have the spirit and energy to make a difference. Culturally Latinos do not categorize helping others as volunteering, rather as an individual duty. In addition, Latinos are more likely to volunteer on their own than through an organization.

Through Compartir es Vivir (, Latinos 50+ and their families and friends can find ways to become more involved and make a difference in their community. We hope that potential volunteers---those who haven’t found the time or who are looking for new and different ways to serve---will find opportunities there that work for them. The website offers Latinos and their families how-to videos and toolkits in English and Spanish with ideas for ways to serve their communities and service projects they can organize on their own, like helping one’s community fight fraud and identity theft. With it, individuals learn how to protect their personal information, spot and stop investment fraud, and, most important, help educate family, friends, and neighbors on the risk of consumer fraud through tip sheets and information.

Now is the time to get involved! Whether you have five minutes, five hours, or five days – a helping hand is always appreciated and needed by many communities. And at this moment, AARP is offering the tools to make your visions of volunteering a reality.

I encourage you to visit the Compartir es Vivir website ( or the Create the Good website ( to find ways to make a difference; share your stories; and to get ideas on how to volunteer in your local community. Visitors will find ideas for activities they can do on their own, offering flexibility and options for how they use their volunteering time.

Raquel “Rocky” Egusquiza is the Vice President of Multicultural Markets for AARP