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AARP Tennessee Awards Nine Community Challenge Grants

AARP Awards Nine Tennessee Organizations with Community Grants as Part of its Successful Nationwide Program 

NASHVILLEToday, AARP Tennessee announced nine Tennessee organizations will receive 2021 Community Challenge grants, totaling $99,000 – part of the largest group of grantees to date. 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 Rebecca Kelly, AARP Tennessee State Director. “Our goal at AARP Tennessee 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 the end of 2021. Here in Tennessee, projects funded include:

  • Rebuilding Together Nashville: Revitalizing three public community centers that includes clean up and adding garden beds for the community. In addition, repairs will be made to homes of low-income and minority families in a North Nashville neighborhood suffering from gentrification. 
  • Knowledge Quest (Memphis): Providing support in a community that desperately suffers from being in a "food desert." The project will deliver cooking classes and meals to families raising grandchildren, as well as educating multi-generational seniors and providing family activities like gardening and farming education.
  • Family Promise of Knoxville: Revitalizing an older house into a warm, welcoming transitional housing unit for a family experiencing homelessness. This project is part of an overall effort providing a range of housing options in the community through permanent or temporary solutions that increase the availability of accessible and affordable choices.
  • Regional One Health Memphis: Purchasing durable medical equipment and/or pay for patient transitional needs (such as transportation and housing placement) to enable discharge from care facilities. Such equipment could include wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, specialty beds or mattresses, respiratory assistance devices, prosthetics, and other therapeutics with an emphasis on the 50+ as recipients.
  • One Family Memphis: Providing no-cost horticultural and nutritional education to residents, and the resulting produce will be made into nutritious meals, available on a pay-what-you-can-afford model.
  • Neighbor 2 Neighbor (Nashville): Designing and implementing a course that will be used to equip local neighborhood organizations with the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes to better prepare and respond to disasters and other emergencies.
  • Folks at Home Sewanee: Providing members of the 50+ population morning access to the track at the Fowler Center on the campus of The University of the South, giving them the opportunity to engage with others in the senior community.
  • Siloam Health Nashville: Addressing health disparities by helping immigrants and those of the 50+ population to navigate the healthcare system. It also provides education about health issues, including COVID-19.
  • Signal Centers Inc. Chattanooga: Hosting in-studio and virtual art classes for seniors to provide an artistic outlet for seniors with and without disabilities to connect socially in order to reduce isolation, depression, and loneliness and to increase confidence and quality of life through art sales.

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.

View the full list of grantees and their project descriptions at www.aarp.org/communitychallenge and learn more about AARP’s livable communities work at www.aarp.org/livable.

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