It Can Happen to Anyone: Why I’m Leaving a Gift for AARP Foundation in My Will

Those who know my mother would say she’s the last person they would ever expect to see struggling financially. She has an MBA, was a human resources professional for more than 25 years, and works harder than anyone I know.

Yet at 58 years old, at the height of the recession, she was laid off and found herself unemployed.

Not easily defeated, she immediately set out to find a new job. “Every day I looked for job openings,” she says. “Every day I sent out my resume. And every day I waited and waited for the call that never came.” This was my mother’s life for more than two years — trying again and again to rejoin the workforce, only to be denied, or even worse, ignored.

Her savings were beginning to slip away. She didn’t qualify for welfare or Medicaid, because she had no young children to support. And the bills were piling up.

Watching my mother — my hero — struggle to pay her mortgage was one of the most heartbreaking experiences of my life. All those years she had taken care of me and lifted me up when I was down. And now, for the first time, she was looking to me for help. Fortunately, I was able to get her through those difficult years. But far too many seniors are facing these challenges all on their own.

That’s why I decided to leave a gift to AARP Foundation in my will. Because I know someday there will be another woman struggling just like my mom. It feels good knowing AARP Foundation will be there to help her get back on her feet.

Renee has been supporter of AARP Foundation since 2009. She lives in Maryland and is proud to be a member of the AARP Foundation Legacy Society.