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Myrtle Beach, SC

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Addressing community health

Description: Using public art, the City of Myrtle Beach set out to spread the word about safe walking and biking, as well as COVID-19 public health protocols. To do this, the City hosted a competition for local artists of all ages, inviting them to submit designs with a safety theme. They then selected 10 winning designs and added text with safety messages to them. With the state Department of Transportation's blessing, the designs became colorful, vinyl wraps for traffic utility boxes at intersections around town. Organizers say the project demonstrated the value of public art, with residents and business owners looking for ways to replicate the results in other neighborhoods.

HI

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Addressing community health

Description: At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Robin Bush stayed home, alone except for her cat. Fortunately, Bush and more than 100 additional kupuna (the Hawaiian term for grandparent or elder) found a way to develop intergenerational connections through Purpose Pals. A partnership between Hawaii's Afterschool Alliance, Age-Friendly Honolulu, Blue Zones Hawaii, and AARP, the program has matched more than 100 kupuna with young adults ages 18-24. The pairs socialize during regularly scheduled video and phone calls. The initiative takes personal interests, skills, life stories and experiences into account when making matches. Participants can then talk about anything, from favorite recipes to career advice to current events. We looked for ways to promote social connectedness and, in particular, create a more age-friendly community by fostering friendships across generations, Purpose Pals organizer Christy Nishita said.

Springfield, IL

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Addressing community health

Description: A new online order system and optional curbside pickup at Springfield's Old Capitol Farmers Market reduced shoppers' risk of COVID-19 exposure. The improvements ensured that older adults and SNAP users could access fresh and healthy food from the popular market. Downtown Springfield Inc. replaced SNAP tokens with Healthy Ways scannable cards, which limit the need for physical contact at checkout. Following the change, the market saw an increase in SNAP transactions. In addition, more than 150 community members took advantage of the curbside option, which reduced in-person foot traffic and provided a safe shopping alternative to those most at risk.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Philadelphia, PA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Public spaces improvements to increase high-speed internet availability

Description: To help older adults access the internet, the Center in the Park created a cafe onsite, which offers free Wi-Fi access to visitors.

Philadelphia, PA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2022

Project Category: Trails

Description: This project installed informational kiosks promoting Cobb Creek Trail. Volunteers installed the kiosks along the trail. Additionally, the Clean Air Council stated two entertainment programs at the Environment Center geared toward older adults.

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