WASHINGTON, DC—Today, AARP announced four Virginia organizations will receive 2020 Community Challenge grants – part of the largest number of grantees to date with more than $2.4 million awarded among 184 organizations nationwide. Grantees will implement “quick-action” projects to create more livable communities across all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Here in Virginia, projects funded include:
- CFH, Inc., serving Fairfax County, will deliver a “telehealth kit” containing a wrist-based blood pressure unit, digital thermometer, and instructions (in appropriate languages) to ensure that individuals living in independent senior housing are able to remain connected with their health care providers, and proactively engaged in monitoring their own overall wellness.
- Grayson County, VA will enhance and continue the operation of a volunteer-operated Help Line to ensure rural residents have access to reliable assistance and information while allowing them to remain safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Sports Backers, based in Richmond, will install murals and corner improvements at two intersections to calm traffic and improve walkability and bikeability to key community assets including the neighborhood’s elementary school and community center.
- Town of Warrenton will enhance a beloved neighborhood park and gateway into the City's Old Town, which serves a historically African American community and celebrates a local civil rights activist, by creating a contemplative garden for all ages that incorporates residents into the design process and historical interpretive elements into the space.
“We are incredibly proud to partner with Virginia’s grantees as they work to make immediate improvements in their communities, encourage promising ideas and jumpstart long-term change,” shared Jim Dau, AARP Virginia State Director. “Our goal at AARP Virginia is to support the efforts of our communities to be great places for people of all backgrounds, ages and abilities and the coronavirus pandemic has only underscored the importance of this work.”
All projects are expected to be completed by December 18, 2020, and are designed to achieve one or more of the following outcomes:
- Create vibrant public places by improving open spaces and parks and activating main streets.
- Deliver a range of transportation and mobility options by increasing connectivity, walkability, bikeability, wayfinding, and access a wider range of transportation choices.
- Encourage the availability of a range of housing by increasing accessible and affordable housing solutions.
- Increase civic engagement and demonstrate the tangible value of “Smart Cities” by bringing together local leaders and residents from all backgrounds to address challenges.
- Support coronavirus response and recovery efforts by ensuring older adults’ access to information, essential services, and civic life.
The Community Challenge grant program is part of AARP’s nationwide Livable Communities initiative, which helps communities become great places to live for residents of all ages. View the full list of grantees and their project descriptions at www.aarp.org/communitychallenge and view an interactive map of all of the Community Challenge projects and AARP Virginia’s livable communities work at www.aarp.org/livable.
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AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.