AARP Grants: An Opportunity for OR Communities to Try New Ideas
Wednesday, February 9, 2022
Local organizations and governments in Oregon looking for funding for their projects now have an opportunity with AARP's Community Challenge Grant. Applications are open for the sixth annual program, which awards small grants to projects that help make communities more livable.
Bandana Shrestha, state director of AARP Oregon, said challenge grants are designed to support projects that can be turned around quickly.
"They should be projects that hopefully get people excited on a new idea, fast-tracking new ideas, or to build momentum on an existing project," she said, "and we're particularly looking for projects that prioritize and support residents 50-plus."
She said AARP looks for projects that engage communities by creating more vibrant public spaces or improving housing or transportation. Applications are being accepted through March 22, and the selected projects must be completed by Nov. 30.
This year, AARP also is calling for projects that leverage funding through laws such as the American Rescue Plan Act or the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
Marilyn Daily-Blair directs Center 50+ in Salem, which received a grant for a downtown summer pop-up in 2019, which engaged people in hands-on education and ways to navigate the city's public transit system.
"The Challenge Grant is just that - it's a challenge to your community to create the community you want for everyone," she said, "and for us here in Salem, it was building a place for all ages and abilities, where they can live and thrive for a lifetime."
AARP Oregon is holding an informational session online on Feb. 22 to help guide prospective applicants in how to submit proposals. Since 2017, 16% in Oregon have been funded, with grants totaling more than $200,000.
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