Milwaukee, Wisconsin – A proposal to connect isolated Milwaukee seniors with
resources and information that can help them better cope with this pandemic has
been selected to receive one of AARP Wisconsin’s “Small Dollar, Big Impact”
These grants are being awarded monthly in 2020 to projects in communities
across Wisconsin that are designed to improve communities and make them
better places for everyone to live, work and play as they age.
The $1,000 grant will be awarded to Serving Older Adults of Southeast
Wisconsin, which manages five senior centers in Milwaukee and had more than
5,000 older adults pass through their doors in 2019.
“We are so grateful to AARP for this grant and for their partnership in providing
resources for older adults,” said Cathy Wood, President/CEO of Serving Older
During the pandemic, these five senior centers have been closed, but Serving
Older Adults has worked to connect seniors through wellness calls as well as
virtual and outdoor programming.
“We continue to offer daily lunches through drive-through and delivery, and this
program has more than doubled during this time,” Wood said. “It has been
difficult to connect with all the participants through email and phone calls.”
Serving Older Adults is planning to use the grant money to create and send out a
one-time mailing to all 5,000 participants to keep them informed of resources
available to them, “and to let them know that we are still here and available to
help,” Wood said.
“This grant will help us make a connection to the seniors we serve through a
newsletter designed to help them get resources they need and let them know we
are thinking of them and connect them to services in the community.
“A mailing to the 5,000 seniors we serve is the only way for us to reach each and
every one of the participants who have passed through our doors and provide
them with a lifeline to resources and activities that we are currently offering
during this time of sheltering at home and ways for them to get involved from the
comfort of their homes,” Wood said.
AARP Wisconsin’s “Small Dollar, Big Impact” grants are being awarded once a
month from June through November. Judges selected this project after receiving
dozens of proposals. All projects must be completed within 60 days from winner
This newsletter project fits perfectly with the spirit and intent of our grant
program, said AARP Wisconsin State Director Sam Wilson. “Our goal is to
support communities as they make positive changes that inspire long-term
progress on livable issues. Keeping seniors informed and less isolated during
this pandemic hits that nail right on the head.”
“These grants are exactly what the name describes – short-term, low-cost
solutions that could have remarkable impacts on the shaping of neighborhoods
and cities,” said Darrin Wasniewski, Associate State Director of Community
Outreach for AARP Wisconsin.
“There are so many great ideas and proposals for making life better in
communities across Wisconsin. We know how impactful $1,000 can be. This is
our way of extending some seed money to get these projects off the ground.”
The grant program is open to some nonprofits and government entities. Other
organizations will be considered on a case-by-case basis. A full listing of
requirements. expectations, deadlines, as well as a link to apply for the next
round of grants can be found at www.aarp.org/wi