Quota’s Advisory Council Minutes

Here are the minutes of our last meeting. The Advisory Council continues to build the bridge between clients and agencies. We will communicate with you on a regular basis.

Minutes of the GR/Deaf and Hard of Hearing/Quota Advisory Council held Jan. 22, 2015

Present: Trish Lopucki, Deb Atwood, Pam Howland, Kathy Freeman, Jeannette Johnson, Nancy Cluley, Cindy Cafmeyer, and Martha Herman
Guest: Jean Silba from the Comprehensive Therapy Center.

Jean led us off with a rousing description of the CTC with all of its benefits, programs and cool things they are doing with the community schools. The CTC also has a summer program for children, Therapy and Fun, for children 1 – 14 years of age. It’s a relaxed, integrated and intensive program that achieves maximum therapeutic progress for children with disabilities. For more information on the program, go to has an abundance of information how Quota and other agencies and schools can maximize our potential in obtaining more assistance in the GR community. She mentioned that there is a program called Leadership GR that we might want to pursue in terms of gaining recognition, tapping into talents of the community and providing leadership training. She’s a keeper for us!!

DHHS – The organization is pleased to have Nancy Cluley join them in the interviewing of senior members who are in need of hearing aids. Money from the Senior Millage was earmarked to help this population. She’s really learning and understanding their struggles with low incomes. She’s on board with all of us looking for new sources of funding, collaboration and cooperation.

Upcoming DHHS Events:

  • Kids’ program, called KidSigns – There will be a rock climbing and swimming adventure on January 29, 2015 at Kroc Center at 2500 S. Division Ave., 5:30 pm to 8 pm.
  • March 28th, kids from KidSigns will be exploring the Children’s Museum from 10 – 11:30 a.m..
  • May Fest, May 9 at Ramada Inn, 28th and E. Beltline, local wine and beer, hors d’oeuvres, Silent Auction and FUN
  • May 31, KidSigns activities will venture to Binder Park Zoo. Children from DHHS and the Deaf Interaction group from the Kalamazoo area will be participating.
  • June 13 – Silent Celebration, June 6, 11 to 3 pm, Pinery Park Lodge
  • July – Field Day, Lamar Park Splash Pad, 1 – 4 pm
  • July 20 – 24 Kids Kamp

…and more!

Quota – Pam and Kathy explained where we are as a Club right now and the journey moving forward. Jean suggested that we explore Leadership Grand Rapids programs that might help and support our mission. Everyone is appreciative of the work we do for the deaf community.

KenOSha – Cindy reported that there aren’t many new things happening but she and the rest of the staff were thrilled to get a little bonus for supplies from Quota. You can do a better job of anything if you have support. We’re glad to help!

Northview – Trish reported on the special trip for some of the seniors to visit Gallaudet University this spring in Washington, DC. She will be taking these students to visit the campus and learn about what they have to offer. She still needs about $1000, or a private jet, to complete the trip! Trish also recommended that representatives from Michigan Rehab Services should join us on the Council. Word from a recent retiree is that the budget only allows for direct contact with clients, and we aren’t clients. Trish will be meeting with them shortly at Northview. Trish also indicated that some of her teachers would like to join Quota knowing that we are doing some changes.

JJ – The Facebook page is up and running. Put any news you’d like on the page for sharing. We’ll get in the habit of posting info. DHHS is raising money for a new server for their office. They still need some funding to reach their goal.

Trish will give us instructions on how to use Google docs next time. Please bring your laptops so we can practice. There will be a test. She also has all of our email addresses on a spreadsheet and will share that with us as well. First, she needs to go on vacation.

Martha talked about the continuation of the Hear for Good project. Starkey will refurbish the hearing aids Quota is collecting; we get points; after a number of points are accumulated, we can get free hearing aids. Older hearing aids will be distributed in third world countries. Quota will re-launch this program in March.

Our next meeting will be March 12th at 3:30, DHHS.

Respectfully submitted by
Martha Herman
January 26, 2015

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Quota – Service in Action

Thanks to Quota’s donation to Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services, two more people now have hearing aids.

One person emigrated to the US from Vietnam, however because of his lack of hearing aids, he has been unable to learn English and thus been unable to find employment. He is now taking English classes and is actively looking for work.

The second recipient is a gentleman in his early 50’s who is on disability due to other physical issues. With his new hearing aids he can now better communicate with his doctor.

Quota also assisted a deaf student who needed an alarm clock with a bed shaker to make sure he gets to school on time.

These are just a few examples of how Quota helps the deaf and hard of hearing in West Michigan.

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Service Committee Report

We received a thank you/quarterly report from Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) in Ottawa County. Quota provided a $1000 grant to this agency for service to those who are deaf or hard of hearing in their county. Using our grant monies, MRS was able to capture an additional $2704 in federal matching funds. The goal of MRS is to help persons with disabilities obtain and maintain employment. To that end, MRS assisted two individuals whose employment involved constant verbal interaction to obtain hearing aids. One customer received $2200 in assistance, the other received $1000. In both situations there was no other source of financial assistance available and without the new hearing aids, these two individuals would have lost their employment.

By combining our funding and resources Quota and Michigan Rehabilitation Services were able to make a significant difference in the lives of these two people and allow them to continue to be contributing members of our community.


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October 2014 Minutes

These minutes are published to help you remember what we discussed or to keep you informed if you missed the meeting!


Quota International of Grand Rapids

Membership Meeting, October 16, 2014, 5:30 pm

Sunnybrook Country Club, Grandville, MI

Present: Sandi Aten, Peggy Bishop, Lisa Braendle, Pat Cook, Kathy Freeman, Sarah Glover, Martha Herman, Pam Howland, Cathy Kaiser, Maureen Martin, Rachael Owsinski, Gwen Powers, Kim Savoie, Kathleen Slagal, Emily Uebbing.

15 members and 1 guest attended.

1. Call to order: 6:15 pm by President Martha Herman. Quota Collect

2. Consent Agenda: September meeting minutes were approved as sent.

3. Recognition of Guests:Bobbi Bach, interpreter for our guest attended for a short time until we determined that Kiara Garrison would not be able to join us.

4. Updates and news

Amazon Smile – Maureen shared information about this super secret portal. When you sign into Amazon via Amazon Smile to make an online purchase, 0.5% of your purchase will be sent to Quota of GR. A link to the site will be sent to club members.

Barnes and Noble Lisa updated us on the Book Fair coming on November 8, 10 am – 6 pm. Save the date notices, vouchers, and a template to email to friends/family have all been sent to members. This event is also listed on the blog. Chef Del will be there, along with Pause With a Cause, Hearing Screening, Children’s Finger Printing, Mrs. Claus and Johnathan Rand, young adult author. Please sign up for a volunteer slot via Kath S. Wear your logo clothing on the date. Lisa will send weekly updates to get the excitement going, and an agenda of the day’s activities. (Lisa thanks everyone for concern over her Mom’s recent surgery.)

Thank you letters from agencies and service – Kathy F gave update on service activities: $1,000 sent to Indian Trails; $1,250 to DHHS for partial funding of 5 hearing aids; $90 for pilot caps for GROD; $100 for pilot caps for Northview; $500 scholarship at GRCC; $450 to Quota World Service; $1,000 to GROD for classroom supplies: $100 to each of 7 classrooms, $100 to the audiologist, $50 to each Teacher Consultant; $1,000 to MRS (Michigan Rehabilitation Services) Kent County and $1,000 to MRS Ottawa County; these funds will leverage federal match monies so that each $1000 contribution becomes $3,700 for MRS clients. Deb Buckley is working on the Christmas party for DHHS clients on December 9 at noon. It will be a potluck this year. We served coffee at the Farmers market this past summer and are on the schedule for 2015 – the first Saturday of the month for great awareness building.

New Membership Packets – Martha announced that Diane and Membership Committee updated the new member packets and Martha will send to members. Lisa requested that we have Membership packets at all events, especially the Book Fair. Ashlee Dowley has sent in her membership application and will be installed soon.

People Unlimited – Pam announced our club’s new membership in Cynthia D’Amour’s People Power Unlimited program. All members are encouraged to register and attend her online events and learning opportunities (live and archived), focused on making our club stronger.

Advisory Council – Martha reported on the first meeting of the Advisory Council held at DHHS with hearing related agencies and community members. We drafted a list of unmet needs so that we can coordinate with each other. Next meeting is Nov 6, 3:30 – 5:00 at DHHS.

Koeze Nut Sale – Maureen distributed new Koeze catalogs and order formsfor holiday and year round orders. Funds from these sales go into the General Fund to help will club operations.

Make a Difference Day – “Hear for Good” Martha announced that October 25 we’ll launch this campaign to compete in the Make A Difference Day. We will be collecting used hearing aids at various sites around the community and give them to DHHS where there will be refurbished and distributed to hard of hearing folks who can’t afford new aids. This can reduce the cost by 90%. Martha will distribute boxes with plastic bags for collection. If you have locations to suggest, let Martha know (churches, senior facilities, etc.)This campaign will be written up and submitted to the Make A Difference Day organizers (USA Today). If our event is selected, Quota wins $10,000. We’ll call it recycling hearing aids. Press release is scheduled to go out Monday.

Strategic Planning – Cathy updated the group on the Board’s Strategic Planning initiative. We have held two discussions to identify Key Issues and Strengths/Weaknesses, Opportunities/Threats, Definition of Success – in order to provide input for setting the future direction of our club. All are welcome to participate in the next meeting after the Board meeting on Nov 17. The group concurred that we need to let people know what Quota is and what we are doing to make a difference.

Very Special Guest – Kiara Garrison – our GRCC Scholarship recipient who was planning to join us and share her story. While she was unable to join us, her delightful thank you note let us know that she is 21 years old, has 3.5 years in at GRCC, and is focused on completing her degree – Special Ed Teacher for Deaf elementary students.

Other – Emily reminded us all to Read the Blog! And if you have information to share send it to her. One suggestion is: A Who We Help category on the Blog would be great. Our most recent brochure is on the Blog! Gwen is considering offering treasures from her Mother’s jewelry collection for a fundraising auction. Ginny Ebers sent along a “Hello!”

Martha adjourned the meeting at 7:45 pm.

Respectfully Submitted,

Cathy Kaiser, Recording Secretary

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Deaf & Hard of Hearing Services – Annual Holiday Party

On December 9, we hosted our annual holiday party for some of the clients of DHHS. We had a nice, homemade lunch (thanks, Debbie!) and gave each attendee a gift card AND a goodie bag filled with fun surprises. They all loved the food, the gifts and they couldn’t wait to play hangman! Thanks to the Quotarians who donated time and money to help bring a holiday smile to many faces. Special thanks to Kathy Freeman, Pat Cook, Martha Herman and Debbie Buckley!

DHHS Party


Debbie Buckley


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President’s Message, January, 2015

There are so many wishes for a new year, so many resolutions, so many promises. Perhaps these wishes, wants and dreams can be realized if we take them in smaller doses. Maybe by weeks or months, but years seem too long to keep focused.

Let’s challenge each other to keep our promise to Quota by the week and month. At each of our initiations, we were asked to uphold the principles of Quota. Have you? I don’t think you need a reminder of what they are. You know in your heart. You know in your actions. You know because you make a difference.

By the week….Support each other in their personal projects. Some of you want more involvement in the community. Some of you want to support our mission in different ways. Some of you want to stay in the background. Let’s support each other in all that we do, collectively.

By the month….Support Quota by attending the meetings, giving feedback, giving positive refreshment to the Club.

This month you will be presented with options for our Club to move forward. I would like you to think seriously about what and how you would like to proceed. We need to think about our focus, our promises and our future.

Don’t dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next. Spend your energies on moving forward toward finding an answer. – Denis Waitley

Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things … and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths. – Walt Disney


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