AARP Awards Five PA Organizations with Community Grants as Part of Record-Breaking Nationwide Program

Posted on 08/20/20

Livable communities - local imagery - Philadelphia community gathers to talk

Today, AARP announced five Pennsylvania 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.

In Pennsylvania, projects funded include:

  • Borough of Quarryville to install a mural at Huffnagle Park
  • Kennett Square Revitalization Task Force to install barriers, parklets, benches, and creative sidewalk markings to beautify State Street at the heart of town while allowing all residents to safely social distance
  • Mount Airy CDC to create a “Senior Entrepreneur” program that will recruit and support a cohort of older entrepreneurs to conceptualize, plan and implement a business development journey
  • Penn State University to pilot virtual community engagement techniques during the coronavirus pandemic and help develop a digital toolkit that other communities can utilize
  • Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission to create a "to-go" meal service that offers contactless free food access for the homeless and disadvantaged during the coronavirus pandemic

“We are incredibly proud to partner with Pennsylvania’s five grantees as they work to make immediate improvements in their communities, encourage promising ideas and jumpstart long-term change,” shared Bill Johnston-Walsh, AARP Pennsylvania State Director. “Our goal at AARP Pennsylvania 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 PA’s livable communities work at www.aarp.org/livable.

This story is provided by AARP Pennsylvania. Visit the AARP Pennsylvania page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

More from AARP in Harrisburg

Upcoming AARP Events

View All AARP Events »


You can find CDC’s latest coronavirus information at cdc.gov/coronavirus; AARP information and resources are at aarp.org/coronavirus. En español, visite aarp.org/elcoronavirus.