— When disaster hits, AARP and AARP Foundation are there. They met the goal of $500,000 in matching donations to help victims of Hurricane Florence, ensuring that $1 million will go to relief and recovery efforts. AARP South Carolina announced that four Palmetto State organizations are getting assistance, including Home Works of America, a faith-based group that provides home-repair services to low-income residents. Home Works is looking for volunteers to help with ongoing recovery and rebuilding in the Pee Dee area. …

— AARP is on a mission to make communities more livable for people of all ages, and the results can be seen in three localities. Pedestrians and cyclists can enjoy their neighborhoods more, thanks to AARP Community Challenge grants. The Conway Downtown Partnership got $7,255 for a bike corral, providing a safe space to park. The city of Little Rock used its $28,542 award for an educational BikePed Friendly Driver program, focusing on drivers’ rights and responsibilities to keep cyclists and …

— AARP Vermont has awarded grants to four organizations to support their efforts to make Burlington a more livable city. This year’s awards, totaling $6,850, focused on the LGBTQ community, transportation for newly settled refugees, the arts for older adults, and neighborhood mobility. The Pride Center, in collaboration with Champlain College students, will conduct a needs assessment of LGBTQ older adults to shape the center’s programming and outreach. AALV, which helps newly settled refugees, partnered with Old Spokes Home to provide …

— AARP Community Challenge grants have funded two projects in the Kansas City area. The city of Raymore received $15,000 for a newly paved and stamped crosswalk on Municipal Circle that will improve safety and access, connecting nearby civic buildings. Better Block KC, a walkable neighborhoods advocacy group, was awarded $2,500 to build an enhanced crosswalk, create parking, protect bike lanes and add dedicated bus-stop lanes on Oak Street in Kansas City. The Community Challenge grants are part of AARP’s nationwide …

— As the City Council begins working on the 2020 budget, AARP DC is advocating for items on the Age-Friendly DC agenda, including preventing elder abuse and ensuring that older adults have access to home- and community-based support services. Another priority is improving city transportation and upgrading outdoor spaces. Stay up to date at aarp.org/dc.

California State Capitol

— By Laura Mecoy AARP California has an ambitious lineup for 2019, according to its state director. “We’re focusing on supporting family caregivers and the launch of a retirement savings program, and encouraging communities to be age-friendly, along with protecting Social Security and Medicare,” said Nancy McPherson. “We do this through outreach and education—and with the support of volunteers who share the same passions,” she added. Among the ways AARP California is getting its message out is by organizing teams of …

— An online survey designed to provide information to improve the quality of life for older citizens kicks off in four Oklahoma communities this week. AARP will gather opinions from residents in Tulsa, Norman, Shawnee and Vinita to determine attitudes and opinions on a variety of topics, such as housing, outdoor spaces, transportation and streets, health and wellness, social participation, educational opportunities, volunteering and civic engagement, and job opportunities. Community residents ages 40+ are invited to complete the surveys, which will …

— Gloria Harlan of Biloxi has been selected by AARP, the nonprofit organization for people 50 and older, to receive the 2018 AARP Mississippi Andrus Award for Community Service — the Association’s most prestigious and visible state volunteer award for community service. AARP Mississippi selected Harlan for her remarkable service which has greatly benefited her community, supported AARP’s vision and mission, and inspired other volunteers. Harlan volunteers with the American Red Cross in Mississippi and other parts of the country. She …

— Are you caring for a relative in your household who has a disability or chronic condition? Learn to apply for up to $400 in reimbursement for respite services. The Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services is offering up to $400 in reimbursement per family for respite services to assist Virginians with disabilities or chronic conditions and the family members who provide their care. Priority will be given to assisting caregivers for loved ones with dementia, as well as, helping …

— Each Tuesday during the legislative session, AARP invites our members to participate in Tuesdays at the State House. We have selected three books to read and discuss in 2019 to increase our policy proficiency. They are Evicted, by Matthew Desmund (discussion on March 5th), Being Mortal, by Atul Gawande (discussion on April 23rd) and American Sickness, by Elisabeth Rosenthal (discussion on June 11th). Each book will be provided to T@SH volunteers 6 weeks prior to the discussion, each of which will …