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AARP reaches out to community

By Staff | Sep 21, 2018

Sue Sitter/PCT North Dakota AARP Executive Council member Cindy Yale (left) and State Director Josh Askvig (right) share information with Rugby member Sheila Ostrem.

Representatives from North Dakota’s AARP invited members to join them at Rugby’s Coffee Cottage Wednesday morning for “Coffee and Conversation,” a chance to listen and share local concerns.

State Director Josh Askvig and Executive Council member Cindy Yale greeted members with coffee and cookies, and explained how the organization wanted to reach out to more parts of the state, not only major population centers such as Bismarck, Fargo or Minot.

“We’re here to hear your concerns,” Askvig said. He explained that AARP has three main functions: advocacy, education and outreach (providing information), and promoting volunteerism.

Yale told the small group of attendees she began with the organization three years ago, when she discovered her credit card information had been hacked. “I saw a message from the AARP on fraud,” she said, “and later, I joined AARP Fraud Watch.” Yale said she still does presentations on fraud protection upon request.

Members shared concerns about Social Security increases being followed by Medicare, prescription costs, and services to the elderly in rural areas. Caregiving for aging loved ones was also discussed, as were voter accessibility and the importance of voting in local and national elections.

Askvig said the AARP remains neutral on political issues, but strives to supply members with the information they need, and hear their concerns.

“We all have our piece to play (in issues affecting members),” Askvig said.

“We (members) don’t always agree on issues,” Yale added, “but we can come to a consensus.”

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