AARP Awards Community Challenge Grant to the United Way of Dutchess-Orange Region

United Way of the Dutchess-Orange has been named a recipient of a 2020 AARP Community Challenge grant, one of six grantees selected in New York and one of four United Ways selected nationwide.

The grant will be used to improve intergenerational relationships and social connectedness between Dutchess and Orange county seniors and younger community members.

During the pandemic and self-isolation, we know that many of our senior residents may have felt disconnected from our community,” Jeannie Montano, President & CEO of United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region explained. “Thanks to support from AARP Livable Communities, we will be engaging our younger community members to engage with our senior community through notes and cards as well as providing basic need items for the seniors.”

This project is part of the largest number of Community Challenge grants 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. 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 to 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.

“We are incredibly excited to support the United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region as they work to make immediate improvements in Dutchess and Orange County, encourage promising ideas and jumpstart long-term change,” shared Beth Finkel AARP NY State Director. “Our goal at AARP NY 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.” 

Other New York grantees include Friends of Mosholu Parkland in the Bronx, LISC in Western New York, the NYU Grossman School of Medicine in New York City, Preservation Buffalo Niagara in Buffalo, and the Underground Railroad Education Center in Albany. The full list of grantees can be found at

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 an interactive map of all of the Community Challenge projects and AARP NY’s livable communities work at

Annual Sponsors

Premier Annual Sponsors: Central Hudson Gas & Electric, M&T Bank, Orange & Rockland, Pratt & WhitneyAnnual Sponsors: IBM, Resorts World, RBT, TD Bank, Ulster Savings