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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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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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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Quota in Action

Do you wonder what we do with the money we raise through events like our annual Duck Walk or our Barnes & Noble Book Fair. Well, wonder no more because here is just one example of how our funds do great work for our community.

We donated purchased ten pilot caps for deaf babies through the Northview Public Schools Program for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. The caps are specially made to be worn by young children in order to keep their cochlear implants or hearing aids in place.

We received the following picture of one of the recipients wearing his pilot cap along with a thank you note from one of the dedicated teachers in this wonderful program.

Quota enjoys our relationship with Northview and we applaud the great work they are doing with young people in their program.

Pilot Caps

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November 2014 President’s Message

Quota International empowers women, children, the deaf, hard-of-hearing, and speech-impaired in local communities around the world.

Soon we will be wrapping up our Strategic Planning sessions and I’ll be presenting my recommendations to the Board and the Membership.  This hasn’t been the easiest project to tackle but I think we’ve done a great job of collecting information, opinions and suggestions for improvement in our Club. Certainly, if there’s anything you’d like to be discussed, please join us on Nov. 17th at Cathy Kaiser’s condo, you can email her for directions.  We begin our discussion around 6:45.  Please let me (Martha) know that you are going to attend.

The Barnes & Noble book fair is going to be a great event!  There has been a tremendous amount of time and effort in planning and organizing.  Let’s get the word out, again, to support the Club and our mission. Click here to read more.

‘Make a Difference Day’ at Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services was a big hit!  We collected 27 hearing aids that will be refurbished and distributed to low income people in the community.  Additionally, new sites have been added in several locations:

Elder’s Helpers, 1407 Robinson Rd. SE; Grace Lutheran Church, Coopersville; Orchard Hill Church at 3 Mile and Bristol, GR; Drs. Niquette and Fair, Fremont; St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Newaygo.  Other sites pending are the GR Veterans Home and Porter Hills.  If you have any connections where you think we might be able to collect hearing aids, please let me know.

Something to think about…

The world is all new all the time.  I go out there, and every day I’m starting all over again.  I’m always an amateur.  I may start something that’s not supported by my peers.  Every day I give up.  But then I always come back to it, thinking that perhaps someone will be encouraged to try something new, something different, something impactful.  Controlled hysteria is what’s required.  To exist constantly in a state of hysteria.  It’s agony. But everyone has agony. The difference is that I try to take that agony home and teach it to sing.

Wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving.


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News from Convention

This isn’t just hot off the press, it’s happening right now!

Kim, Martha and I (Emily, your friendly blogger) are sitting here in fabulous Cincinnati, Ohio surrounded by over three hundred Quotarians from around the world! The latest numbers on Quotarians are as follows: 5,283 members in 265 clubs in twelve countries. Our incoming President Karen Murphy is hoping to focus on “Gain and Retain”. No, that’s not weight. She means membership.

I encourage you to think about how you can help our Grand Rapids club focus on sharing the name of Quota with more people. When I first started in Quota, I was on our Membership committee. I used to challenge our membership to think about who you know. Who can you tell about Quota? Your hairdresser? Your assistant?

Let me tell you, it pays to talk about Quota. The firemen were meeting here when we first arrived at the hotel. Do you know that in one conversation, our fellow Australian Quotarians talked to several of those firemen. The firemen were so impressed about Quota that they put it on Facebook. They told their friends that if anyone wanted to learn more about Quota to contact Karen. There are twenty people who contacted her to learn more! Why are we keeping it a secret? Start talking about Quota. Ask your neighbor what they like to do. Everyone feels better when they help someone. Ask them if they know someone who is deaf or hard-of-hearing. That is an easy way to start a conversation about Quota. Don’t be shy. Let’s share Quota with everyone!

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July 2014 President’s Message

As we begin to connect with the people who help us with our mission on July 24th, I’d like to remind you of some ideas that embrace Quota.

One of the first questions that any new person who joins in with us is ‘Do I belong here?’ One way or another, they must locate themselves in the story of our motto, We Change Lives.  They must experience a genuine emotional connection that says what you do matters to them, personally.  It might be the cause itself, a special project, their relationship with a member, etc. But whatever it is, all of us have a story to tell of a person who was touched by one of our activities.  Carlos, for example, had never roasted a marshmallow over a fire, had never experienced the taste of a s’more and was only one of the handful of young people who found a way to the picnic last year.  He topped his game by wiggling that oreo cookie from his forehead to his mouth in seconds.  I would say those experiences changed his life by giving him confidence, acceptance and applause, something that he rarely ever felt.

What do we at Quota stand for?  From the article about telling stories, we need to express ourselves, our passion, our mission, our special projects to include the people with whom we work.  People invest in organizations that reflect their own personal values and worldview.  They express themselves by donating their time, money and energy.  Now we need to reinforce what we know how to do – further engage, reinforce and brag about what we do with the money we raise.  Only a small group of people really know what impact we have on the community.

Communicating our unique difference is a matter of survival.  It’s time for us to be proud of what we do and act upon the things that matter the most.

Let’s spread the word. Tell a story about how YOU changed someone’s life through the service that we provide, how YOU impacted their future, how you inspired someone.


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Farmers Market

The first Saturday of each month Quota serves coffee and talks up healthy hearing at the Fulton Street Farmers Market. We have 3 volunteers each month but the more, the merrier! Join us from 10 until 12 and have some fun AND move Quota forward!

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How do we show we care?

We are exposed to many different blogs, news, articles and other forms of communication on a daily basis. Here is an article from Cynthia D’Amour that we, as a club and individuals, should carefully consider.

Are Your Members Leaving Because You Don’t Heart Them Enough?

I’m noticing a growing trend of disappointment from association volunteers.

  • Several have called me hurt more than complaining.
  • They were volunteer leaders who had to take a leave for a variety of reasons…
  • Surgery, family death, job change and more.

The source of their hurt – no one from their chapter cared they were not showing up.

  • In spite of being super active for many years.
  • And believing they had deep relationships with other leaders.
  • Not a card, call – or even an email.

IHeartRadioIt has been total radio silence – except radio isn’t so silent any more!

  • In fact one of my favorite radio station misses me.
  • More than some chapters are missing their star volunteers.

I signed up for iHeartRADIO.

  • Made some stations around the country my favorites.
  • Listened to 104.3 MYfm in Los Angeles a lot.
  • And then I stopped listening to the radio while working about three weeks ago.

Two days ago, I got an email from iHeartRADIO saying 104.3 MYfm missed me…

“Hey there,

It’s been a while since you listened to 104.3 MYfm Los Angeles.

Did something heavy fall on you? If you need help, we’ll be right over to lift it off!

Come back and let us know you’re ok!”

An app on my phone cares more about me than many chapters show caring for their members.

  • In four sentences, I felt noticed, cared about – and missed.
  • Yes, I know it was auto-generated.
  • But it still made me smile.

This type of communication is growing as for-profits want to build emotional connections to consumers.

  • Your chapter is going to have to step up its game in caring for members.
  • Members will be asking themselves, “If an app can miss me, why don’t people who I’ve volunteered with for years?”
  • Without the heart connection, the reason to belong pales.

How do you stay on top of the big events in your members’ lives – and show that you heart them too?

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February 20th Quota of Grand Rapids meeting

Join us as we decorate and stuff bags full of goodies for Sisters in Support. Last year, we heard from the director and packed up goodies bags (click here, if you missed it). Here is a list of suggestions for things you can bring (use your imagination!):

  • Personal toiletries (no shampoo/hair products, please)
  • Female hygiene products
  • Body soap
  • Body lotion
  • Bath salts*
  • Toothbrush/Toothpaste
  • Kleenex (fancy travel packs)
  • Emory boards
  • Needle & thread
  • Paperback books
  • Dollar store items
  • Pens and pads of paper
  • Chocolates/candies
  • Warm fuzzy slipper socks
  • Hair accessories (pins, clips, etc.)
*Elaine’s recipe for bath salts:
   1/2 cup Listerine
   1/2 cup vinegar
   5 cups water
Mix in tub full of warm water. Soak your tootsies for 15-20 minutes. Ahh, now doesn’t that feel better?

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