AARP Alaska Recognizes Jan Watson of Anchorage with its Most Prestigious Volunteer AwardANCHORAGE, AK – Jan Watson of Anchorage has been selected by AARP Alaska to receive Alaska’s 2009 AARP Andrus Award for Community Service, the Association’s most prestigious and visible volunteer award for community service. This award symbolizes that individuals have the power and ability to make a difference in the lives of others. AARP Alaska selected Jan for her remarkable service and for the impact she’s had on the lives of others and on her community. Under Jan’s leadership as the volunteer coordinator for AARP Alaska’s Tax-Aide Program, more than 6,000 returns were prepared by volunteers statewide, resulting in more than $4.2 million in refunds and over $800,000 saved in tax preparation fees. Jan helped organize a Tax & Benefits Day event that brought together agencies that serve the elderly and low-income to provide information to more than 100 tax site clients. Jan's work with the statewide Tax-Aide Program advanced Alaska's economic security by putting money in the pocket of elderly and low-income residents through tax refunds and saved tax preparation fees. She brought free tax preparation to the disadvantaged by leading “field trips” to local homeless shelters, food kitchens, and even a prison. Her work with Tax & Benefits Day connected tax site clients to vital services such as food stamp screening and Alaska’s Senior Benefits Program, for seniors who live on a limited income. Jan strives to serve people all over Alaska. She sees the "big picture" and is able to connect tax site clients with other services to improve the lives of thousands of Alaskans. The AARP Andrus Award for Community Service recognizes members and volunteers who, through volunteer service, are significantly enhancing the lives of individuals age 50 and over. “This award acts as a symbol to members and the public that we can all work together for positive social change,” says Ken Osterkamp, AARP State Director. “AARP has long valued the spirit of volunteerism and the important contributions AARP volunteers make to their communities, neighbors, and the programs they serve. Jan Watson is a wonderful example and we’re very proud of her.” Recipients across the nation were chosen for their ability to enhance the lives of AARP members and prospective members, improve the community in or for which the work was performed, and inspire others to volunteer.
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. We produce AARP The Magazine, published bimonthly; AARP Bulletin, our monthly newspaper; AARP Segunda Juventud, our bimonthly magazine in Spanish and English; NRTA Live & Learn, our quarterly newsletter for 50+ educators; and our website, AARP.org. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.