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AARP Awards Seven Hawai`i Organizations with Community Grants

Projects to improve communities from the North Shore to Kalihi and a Big Island project to bring live performances to East Hawai`i residents received 2021 Community Challenge grants totaling $72,786, AARP Hawai`i announced today.

The grants to seven Hawai`i organizations are part of $3.2 million awarded among 244 organizations nationwide, the largest number of projects awarded to date as part of AARP’s Community Challenge grant program. Grantees will implement quick-action projects to promote livable communities by improving housing, transportation, public spaces, civic engagement, and connection with family, friends, and neighbors with an emphasis on the needs of the 50-plus. Many of this year’s awards support revitalizing communities adversely impacted by the pandemic and include a focus on diversity, inclusion, and disparities.

“We are incredibly proud to collaborate with these organizations as they work to make immediate improvements in their communities, encourage promising ideas and jumpstart long-term change, especially for those age 50 and over,” shared Keali`i Lopez, AARP Hawai`i state director. “Our goal at AARP Hawai`i is to support the efforts of our communities to be great places for people of all backgrounds, ages and abilities.”

All projects are expected to be completed by November 10, 2021. Here in Hawai`i, projects funded are:

  • East Hawai'i Cultural Council: $15,100 to support mobile theatre performances in schools, parks, disability agencies and senior centers.
  • Age-Friendly Honolulu, Palolo Chinese Home: $6,036 for a volunteer service project supporting older residents in Palolo during National Fall Prevention month.
  • North Shore Community Land Trust: $5,000 for restoration efforts at Kalaeokaunaoa or Kahuku Point.
  • Better Block Hawaii: $10,000 to design and install parklets, street art and trees to calm traffic, support local business and beautify Kalihi.
  • Kailua Intermediate School: $15,000 to support a community mural on campus next to Kailua District Park.
  • Krause Family Foundation, 'Alana Ke Alana,The ARTS at Marks Garage: $6,500 to create a temporary art project involving kupuna to help create understanding of climate change.
  • Kanu Hawaii: $15,150 to develop a Kokua Exchange time bank computer platform to enable Honolulu residents to exchange time and skills.

The Community Challenge 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 the Community Challenge Grant program started in 2017, 17 Hawai`i projects have received $184,836 to improve and create parks, engage students to think about making Chinatown more age-friendly using a video game, encourage bicycle sharing by older residents, make streets safer and generally make communities more livable.

View the full list of grantees and their project descriptions at and learn more about AARP’s livable communities work at

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