The 2018 AARP Community Challenge is now accepting applications through May 16, 2018 to fund “quick-action” projects in communities across the country. Grants can range from several hundred dollars for small, short-term activities to several thousand for larger projects. The program is now in its second year and is part of AARP’s nationwide work on Livable Communities, helping neighborhoods, towns and cities to become great places for all ages.
KNOX, a key partner in improving the city of Hartford since its founding in 1966, was one of the 88 non-profit organizations in the United States to be selected as a first-ever AARP Community Challenge recipient. With the funding, KNOX rebuilt Broad Street Community Garden’s 22 raised garden beds to make them more accessible to children, the handicapped and the elderly. KNOX also repaired a fence, installed a picnic bench and added a shaded umbrella area for gardeners and visitors to rest.
“We know that it takes time to build great communities. But, we also believe that quick action can spark longer-term progress.” said Nancy LeaMond, AARP Executive Vice President, Community, State and National Affairs. “The AARP Community Challenge aims to help non-profit and local government leaders jumpstart and build momentum for change in their communities.”
The AARP Community Challenge is open to 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4) and 501(c)(6) nonprofits and government entities. Other types of organizations may be considered on a case-by-case basis. AARP will prioritize projects with permanent or temporary solutions that aim to achieve one or more of the following outcomes:
- Deliver a range of transportation and mobility options that increase connectivity, walkability, bikeability and/or access to public and private transit.
- Create vibrant public places that improve open spaces, parks and access to other amenities.
- Support the availability of a range of housing that increases accessible and affordable housing options.
- Other community improvements. In addition to the three areas of focus, AARP wants to hear about communities’ needs and new, innovative ideas for addressing them.
The application deadline is 5 p.m. ET, May 16, 2018, and all projects must be completed by November 5, 2018. Applications must be submitted through AARP.org/CommunityChallenge.
Last year, the AARP Community Challenge awarded 88 grants to communities representing every state and the District of Columbia. Visit http://bit.ly/2017GrantWinners to see some of the 2017 winners in action as they work to improve public spaces and community amenities and increase housing and transportation options that benefit residents of all ages.
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With nearly 38 million members and offices in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP works to strengthen communities and advocate for what matters most to families with a focus on health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also works for individuals in the marketplace by sparking new solutions and allowing carefully chosen, high-quality products and services to carry the AARP name. As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the world’s largest circulation publications, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.
Nora Duncan is the state director for AARP Connecticut.