Cities of Service – part of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ American Cities Initiative – recently announced the six cities who will participate in its new ‘Experience Matters’ program. The Experience Matters initiative – created in partnership with AARP – seeks to build stronger cities by drawing on the expertise of adults aged 50 and older.
“Based on AARP’s work in hundreds of communities nationwide, we know that older adults can bring tremendous value to the places they live,” said Nancy LeaMond, AARP executive vice president and chief advocacy and engagement officer. “This partnership with Cities of Service and the programs in these cities will not only enhance the quality of life for residents of all ages but will also demonstrate the results that cities can see when they tap the experience and expertise of people 50-plus.”
The winning cities are Albuquerque, New Mexico; Birmingham, Alabama; Columbia, South Carolina; Fort Worth, Texas; Saint Paul, Minnesota; and Tulsa, Oklahoma. Each city will receive $25,000, pre-program training and project design assistance to advance their initiatives, and two full-time AmeriCorps VISTA members to assist with the program.
Volunteers in the six cities will assist in such diverse areas as minor home and property repairs to address property code violations and increase energy efficiency, supporting literacy development and academic achievement, financial counseling, and youth mentorship programs.
“We are thrilled to expand our partnership with AARP through the launch of this new Experience Matters program,” said Myung J. Lee, Cities of Service Executive Director. “Our expertise helping cities engage volunteers combined with AARP’s experience working with adults age 50 and older will allow these cities to have a significant impact on the issues they are facing related to poverty.”