Kansas City,KS, resident Carolyn Wyatt has been selected as the 2022 Kansas winner of the Andrus Award, the highest award recognizing volunteers presented by AARP.
Wyatt was selected for her remarkable service, which has greatly benefited her community, reflected AARP’s vision and mission, and inspired other volunteers.
Wyatt exemplifies the meaning of community volunteer by recognizing the needs in her community and bringing them to the forefront with her ideas, thoughtful solutions and actions that bring the community together to complete projects.
“When she sees an opportunity or a need, she really goes about determining what is a great solution. Wyatt is able to go out and collaborate within the community and get people to come in and help with the issue she’s trying to solve,” said Glenda DuBois, Kansas AARP state director.
Wyatt led a successful campaign to preserve her local recreation center by attending neighborhood meetings and encouraging use of the center by local organizations, families, schools and residents of a senior housing complex. She was able to get the center reopened and re-stimulated its community service opportunities with programs that appeal to all ages.
When the city’s only public swimming pool was re-opened, Wyatt facilitated a successful signup campaign for lifeguards in response to the lack of applicants.
When a city-owned neighborhood children’s playground and park fell into disrepair, Wyatt worked to secure a grant for new playground equipment and surfaces and recruited community volunteers who came together to assemble it.
In addition, Wyatt makes sure residents, especially older residents who may feel isolated, know what is happening in their community. Through Facebook and email, she shares city announcements and resources, new services that are being offered, the opening of new businesses, who is being honored, family events, and opportunities to socialize, stay connected and form positive relationships. She promotes a sense of inclusion in the community as stakeholders.
As the winner of the Andrus Award, Wyatt selected Community Boxing and Fitness Center, Inc., in Kansas City to receive a $2,500 donation from AARP.