AARP Eye Center
AARP Delaware announced 5 organizations throughout the state will receive 2023 Community Challenge grants – part of the largest group of grantees to date with $3.6 million awarded among 310 organizations nationwide. Grantees will implement quick-action projects that help communities become more livable by improving public places; transportation; housing; digital connections; diversity, equity and inclusion; and more, with an emphasis on the needs of adults age 50 and older.
“AARP Delaware is committed to working with local leaders to improve residents’ quality of life through tangible changes,” said George Meldrum, State President. “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 Delawareans 50 and over.”
Here in Delaware, projects that were funded include:
Seaford Community Garden
The project will expand community gardens and raise vegetables for consumption by residents. The program waives seasonal fees for local veterans, most of whom are aged 50+.
The project will provide transportation vouchers for older adults with physical limitations or who are unable to drive so that they can utilize an on-demand ride service.
Town of Milton
This project will install three benches at local bus stops to provide residents with a place to rest, wait or socialize when they visit the town center, while also making the local transportation system more accessible to older people and those with disabilities.
Delaware Art Museum
The project will employ and train 10 residents to conserve and maintain 30 works of public art, most of which are currently in disrepair. In the process, the program will promote interest in the arts in the local community.
Cornerstone West CDC with West Side Grows Together
The project will support Open Streets events by closing streets to vehicle traffic, creating safe spaces for residents of all ages to move freely and advocating for permanent improvements to the city's streets.
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, 2023.
This year, the AARP Community Challenge accepted applications across three different grant opportunities, including existing flagship grants in addition to new capacity-building microgrants for improving walkability and community gardens. New demonstration grants will focus on improving transportation systems, with funding support provided by Toyota Motor North America, and housing choice design competitions.
AARP is also bolstering its investment in rural communities, mobility innovation, transportation options, and health and food access.
“These grants continue to lead to long-term, positive changes in communities across the country,” said Nancy LeaMond, AARP Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy & Engagement Officer. “This year, we are proud to support the largest number of projects in the program’s seven-year history, which will improve residents’ quality of life through tangible changes so everyone can thrive as they age.”
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, especially those age 50 and older. Since 2017, AARP Delaware has awarded 18 grants and $190,035 through the program to nonprofit organizations and government entities across the state.
View the full list of grantees and their project descriptions at aarp.org/communitychallenge and learn more about AARP’s livable communities work at aarp.org/livable.