08/26/09 — AARP chapter announces paper products drive for charity

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AARP chapter announces paper products drive for charity

By Catharin Shepard
Published in News on August 26, 2009 1:46 PM

As anyone with a large family knows, toilet paper disappears at an alarming rate when there are many people living in a household, and the Operation Transition house is no exception.

Taking a tour of the home inspired AARP Chapter 3381 President Evelyn Jefferson to come up with an unusual, but practical way, to help support Operation Transition, a 501(c)3 non-profit charitable organization that gives homeless women the chance to help themselves and their children.

The AARP will conduct an In-Service Day Sept. 11 by collecting paper goods for the house. Anything made of paper or related to dry goods is included in the collection, from trash bags, toilet paper and paper towels to baby diapers, wipes and tissues.

"You can't imagine how costly paper products can be, this is truly a blessing for the house," said Mary Mosley, Operation Transi-tion director. "These items are so easily overlooked as something that would be important for a drive."

It's a simple idea, but it seemed a perfect fit for the Goldsboro AARP chapter, and the board of directors gave Mrs. Jefferson the go-ahead.

"When I thought about it, I said, everybody can use paper. There's always a need for paper, It's something so simple, most people forget to get it from the store," Mrs. Jefferson said.

She doesn't know how much participation to expect, but when she explains the project, people often want to donate.

"Everybody that I've asked has said yes," she said. "I guess I'm a hard person for them to say no to."

Already members of her church, Best Grove Missionary Baptist Church on Tommy's Road, have been donating money to go toward purchasing paper products, and Mrs. Jefferson picks up as many products as she can while they are on sale.

The day of service, a national initiative of the AARP, is a way for members to give to their communities without having to go far from home or send money to unfamiliar organizations. It's something that even retired persons with health issues or living on a tight budget can afford to help support, and volunteering to assist others can have positive benefits for seniors, too, Mrs. Jefferson said.

"I think there's a need right here at home that we can help. They need you, and you need them," she said. "The AARP's motto is to serve, not to be served. Just because we're 50 and above is no reason not to serve, that's how I see it."

The drive could also be positive for the local chapter. Many Americans belong to the national organization but never realize that there could be a county or city chapter nearby that is also working for the betterment of retired persons and their communities.

"My dream is that people will know that the AARP chapter is here, because a lot of people don't even realize that there is a chapter here," Mrs. Jefferson said. "I want people to know that we're here, and we're doing something."

To donate to the drive or for more information, contact Operation Transition at 583-8942. The In-service Day will be held 1 p.m. Sept. 11 at the house on West Walnut Street.