Reward Opportunity to Celebrate Community Volunteers / Public News Service

AARP is now accepting nominations for its 2022 Nebraska Andrus Award for Community Service, which honors Nebraskas ages 50 and older who share their experience, talent, and skills to enrich the lives of members of their community.

LaNeta Carlock and her husband Stan received the Andrus Prize in 2020 for a series of projects they carried out in Haigler, in southwestern Nebraska – starting with volunteering to help underprivileged children learn to read.

“So we had wonderful careers, we were able to retire early,” Carlock said. “We decided to return to our small village to give back to the community where we started.”

After finding that the small country school Stan’s mother attended had fallen into disrepair, they expanded their volunteer footprint. Six years and $50,000 raised later, the school became the first of many museums and community centers founded by the Carlocks in Haigler.

Nomination forms for the annual award are available online at “aarp.org/AndrusAward”. Applications must be submitted by July 15.

Carlock says there are many volunteers across Nebraska doing important work, and she encourages anyone who appreciates their contributions to take the time to complete the application to give them the recognition they deserve.

“Even though they may not want it, or think they don’t need it,” Carlock said. “But it’s to let others know the joy and satisfaction of giving back, to encourage others to volunteer for their communities. Because you’ll get so much more in return.”

Past Andrus recipients were honored for their volunteer work fighting for the rights of caregivers at work and at home; collect and deliver clothing, household items and toys to the Omaha Indian Reservation in Macy’s; grow fresh produce for food banks and nursing homes near Gering; and transportation of Red Cloud emergency medical technicians and medications to the local hospital.

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