Richmond, VA – AARP announced five organizations throughout the state will receive 2022 Community Challenge grants – part of the largest group of grantees to date with $3.4 million awarded among 260 organizations nationwide. Grantees will implement quick-action projects that help communities become more livable in the long-term by improving public places; transportation; housing; diversity, equity, and inclusion; digital access; and civic engagement, with an emphasis on the needs of adults age 50 and over.
“AARP Virginia is committed to working with communities to improve residents’ quality of life through tangible changes,” said State Director Jim Dau. “We are proud to collaborate with this year’s grantees as they make immediate improvements in their communities to jumpstart long-term change, especially for Virginians 50 and over.”
Here in Virginia, projects funded include: Healthy Chesapeake will design an accessible, age-friendly community garden at a local library; Literacy Volunteers of the New River Valley will develop a Mobile Literacy Lab to deliver technology resources and education to adult learners; Union Presbyterian Seminary will improve the trail system in an urban eco-park, making it more accessible to community members of all ages; Gloucester Mathews Care Clinic will establish a food pantry and vegetable garden to provide healthy food to patients, and Blacksburg Regional Art Association will create a “Live Together” mural celebrating the community along a busy pedestrian streetscape.
AARP Community Challenge grant projects will be funded in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. True to the program’s quick-action nature, projects must be completed by November 30, 2022.
This year, AARP is bolstering its investment in affordable and adaptable housing solutions in response to the national housing crisis. With additional funding support from Toyota Motor North America, the program is also increasing its support of projects that improve mobility innovation and transportation options.
The grant program is part of AARP’s nationwide Livable Communities initiative, which supports the efforts of cities, towns, neighborhoods, and rural areas to become great places to live for people of all ages. Since 2017, AARP has awarded 16 grants and $195,459 through the program to nonprofit organizations and government entities across the state.