AARP is working in partnership with local leaders, organizations and dedicated residents to help make that vision a reality. As part of that effort, AARP is excited to announce the largest investment of grant dollars to date through the Community Challenge grant program. More than $3.4 million in quick-action grants are being distributed to 260 organizations across all 50 states, Washington D.C, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The Community Challenge funds innovative projects that inspire change in areas such as transportation; public spaces; housing; diversity, equity, and inclusion; civic engagement; and more. This year, with additional funding support from Toyota Motor North America, the program is also increasing its investment in projects that improve mobility innovation and transportation options.
AARP is also bolstering its support of affordable and adaptable housing solutions in response to the national housing crisis, as well as those that address disparities through permanent or temporary solutions. Many of this year’s projects also include ways to help communities leverage funding under the American Rescue Plan Act and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
AARP Kentucky is proud to have six grantees in 2022. AARP Kentucky awarded $48,885 in Community Challenge Grants to these six local organizations to help the nonprofits and local governments across the Bluegrass state to implement programs to make their communities more livable. Our goal is to support their efforts to create great places for people of all backgrounds, ages and abilities. As local leaders seek to better their communities for the future, this becomes even more critical.
Here in Kentucky, grantees with exciting and diverse projects were funded:
- Beaver Dam: City of Beaver Dam As part of a downtown renaissance, old wooden doors will be turned into artworks illustrating the city’s history and will then be mounted on the outer walls of existing buildings.
- Florence: Florence Christian Church A bicycle rack and bicycle repair station will be installed in the church parking lot for use by food pantry guests, users of the church’s free shower service and all city residents.
- Hazard: University of Kentucky Research Foundation Workbenches, a 3-D printer, pipe benders and a drill press will be among the equipment purchased to bolster a program in which volunteers refurbish used medical equipment and adapt toys to aid people with disabilities.
- Highland Heights: Campbell County Senior Center Two raised-bed planters will be built and developed, and workshops will be held to teach older adults about gardening.
- Lexington: Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky To strengthen relations between grandparents and grandchildren, events at which attendees can plant trees and flower bulbs or build free mini libraries (or both) will be staged across the state.
- Louisville: Parks Alliance of Louisville A new public park in a neighborhood with high rates of poor health will receive three fitness stations.
Since 2017, AARP Kentucky has awarded 24 grants and $256,500 through the program to nonprofit organizations and government entities across the state. True to the program’s quick-action goal, projects must be completed by November 30, 2022. The full list of grantees can be found at www.aarp.org/communitychallenge. Find more and share on social media: #AARPCommunityChallenge
The Community Challenge is part of AARP’s nationwide work on livable communities, which supports the efforts of neighborhoods, towns, cities and counties across the country to become great places for all residents. We believe that communities should provide safe, walkable streets; affordable and accessible housing and transportation options; access to needed services; and opportunities for residents to participate in community life.
To learn more about the work being funded by the AARP Community Challenge both here in Kentucky as well as across the nation, visit aarp.org/CommunityChallenge. You can also view an interactive map of all of the Community Challenge projects and AARP Kentucky's livable communities work at aarp.org/livable.