President’s Message for May, 2015

Here we are, ready to tackle our spirit and put it to work. During the next few Club meetings we will be fine tuning the plan and including people who haven’t experienced Quota.

At the May Club meeting, we will be asking for help with the Duck Walk. There are 3 groups and 3 tables of leaders, each with their own mission. The Involvement Team, led by Pam and Sarah, will begin to collect names of volunteers who will be assigned specific tasks for the walk, e.g., greeters, registrars, security persons, etc. The Communications Team, led by Rachael and Cathy K., will begin to create a plan for marketing the Duck Walk, designing messages for posting on Facebook, writing press releases, etc. The Activities Team, led by Kathy F. and Sue, will be identifying specific jobs that need to be accomplished by members and volunteers, establishing a time line for completion of activities, e.g. when do press releases go out, how often do we post on Facebook, etc. At each meeting we will share our information, give suggestions on improvements and grow our message to the community.

We will need everyone’s help, ideas and connections to be successful. We know most of this through our history. Now it’s time for action.

As we proceed through the year, we will work on our fundraisers, and find new opportunities, people and stories about how we can help the deaf and hard of hearing. And it will include fun, laughter and new visions for our future.

We currently have plans to donate some of our funds over the next 3 to 5 years to the new Mary Free Bed/YMCA building on the E. Beltline. We have committed to fund a loop system in two rooms, the kitchen and a classroom. This building is the first of its kind in the U.S., and we are a part of it. Sue S. has been very passionate about this project, and we are happy to be a part of it as well.

Additionally, I want to thank the Gavel Club for a wonderful ceremony. Pam, you stole the show with the Roast to Robin and Peggy!  Everything was meaningful and encouraging.

“There are few experiences in life more exhilarating than being part of a successful collaboration. Being part of creating something larger than our individual self touches our souls, connects us to people, and brings a deep sense of satisfaction. You can do it, you can be it, you can have it.”  (Author unknown)

Let’s get moving!!

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Quota Volunteers at Fulton Street Market!

Quota is again  (wo)manning the coffee cart at the Fulton St. Farmer’s Market on the first Saturday of the month from 10 AM to 12 Noon. We are there to promote Quota, sell coffee to support the Farmer’s Market and to provide ear plugs to promote healthy hearing.

Volunteering is a lot of fun. We meet lots of people, get to know your fellow Quota members better and get in some shopping… What could be better? I would love to have two volunteers to join me for each date.

This year’s dates are:


  • May 2 (coming up this weekend!)
  • June 6
  • July 4—although not sure the market will be open that day.
  • August 1
  • September 5—(Labor Day weekend)
  • October 3

If you would like to volunteer, please contact Kathy or leave a comment on this post!

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50/50 Raffle!

We are pleased to announce our 2015 Raffle winner, Sandi from Grand Rapids.  Sandi won $1210 and has plans to share it with the students at the GR Oral Deaf Program.  Congratulations, Sandi!

And thanks to all who purchased tickets for our fundraiser. The proceeds will help us help the deaf and hard of hearing in West Michigan.

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DHHS Garage Sale – Saturday, April 25

Garage Sale Flyer

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Installation of Board of Directors and Announcement of 2015 Quotarian of the Year!


Quota International of Grand Rapids announces the installation of the following Quotarians to the Board of Directors for the 2015/16 fiscal year

President                     Martha Herman, Empowered Consulting, LLC

Vice President            Pam Howland, Retired

Treasurer                     Maureen Martin, Home Repair Services

Directors –                  Sandi Aten, Retired

Kathleen Freeman, Hope Network

Rachael Owsinski, Fifth Third Bank

The Club also announces that Maureen Martin has been selected as the 2015 Grand Rapids Quotarian of the Year! This award is given annually to a local Quotarian who exemplifies the standards of Quota International and the organization’s motto, “We Share.” Maureen has been a member of Quota since 1981, currently serves as Treasurer and has also served as President, District Governor and in other leadership roles during her long tenure with the Club. Her dedication, experience and “voice of reason” continues to help guide the club as we move forward into the future.

Congratulations to Maureen and the newly installed Board of Directors.

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Hear for Good – New service project to benefit the deaf and hard of hearing in West Michigan

Quota International of Grand Rapids has announced a new service project, Hear For Good, in which Club members are collecting used hearing aids. The hearing aids will be sent to Starkey, Inc., a leading manufacturer of hearing devices, to be refurbished and reprogrammed for points toward the purchase of new, lower cost hearing aids which Quota will donate to deaf and hard of hearing persons in need. Donation boxes are being placed throughout West Michigan businesses including nursing homes, audiologist offices, funeral homes, etc.

Let us know if you would like a donation box for your business, church or organization. If you would like more information about Quota or would like to volunteer to make a difference in people’s lives, please email us at quotagr@gmail.com.

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DHHS Fundraiser – May 16

Did you know that:

  • The cost of a pair of hearing aids can range from $2,000 to $6,000 depending on the severity and type of hearing loss the person has?
  • A special alarm clock to wake a deaf or hard of hearing person is approximately $49 for a basic analog clock?
  • A variety of special products exist to make living and working with a hearing loss easier and safer, but the cost of this equipment puts it out of reach for many in our community?
  • Hearing aids and other adaptive equipment are generally not covered by Medicare or Medicaid?

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services works to find funding for adaptive equipment for people with hearing loss. Our ADAPT Program (Awareness and Distribution Assistance for Persons with Technology) helps to defray the cost of this equipment for individuals who do not qualify for government or other equipment assistance programs.

On May 16, 2015, we will be hosting a fundraising event. This will be a beer and wine tasting event featuring a silent auction. Our goal is to raise $15,000 which will go directly to the ADAPT program.

Can you help support our program by donating an item or service for the silent auction? Or buy tickets and come to this fun event!

When you donate, your name, or that of your business, will be proudly displayed as a donor for this event.  All donations are fully tax deductible. Additionally, when donating, please provide a value for the item or service, so that we may send you a receipt for your tax records.

We  hope to see you on May 16!

Mayfest 2015 Save the date earlyversion

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New American Sign Language Lab – Volunteers and Speakers Needed!

WHAT/WHO – Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services through our KidSigns Program is partnering with the Northview Public School system to sponsor an ASL Sign Lab for the families of deaf/hard of hearing children.

WHEN – on Monday nights for 8 consecutive weeks starting April 13, 2015 from 5:30p – 6:30p (4/13 4/20, 4/27, 5/4, 5/11, 5/18, 5/26 (is a Tuesday after Memorial Day) and 6/1/2015

WHERE – at the Highlands Middle School cafeteria – Address: 4645 Chandy Dr NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525

NEED – 1.) We need volunteers to watch the smaller children of parents attending that are too young to participate in the Lab.  We will have activities for them.

2.) We need Guest Speakers to come for 10 – 15 minutes each class and share their stories/challenges/advice/knowledge or how they can assist.  The group of parents and older kids that are attending these Labs need to hear from: deaf/hh community members and how they grew up and their challenges, CODA’s & SODA’s, hearing parents that have raised or are raising d/hh children. Teachers, interpreters, service providers, and businesses -anyone who has deaf/hard of hearing clients or customers who has a story/experience/advice or how they could assist these families.

HOW – we need many signing hands to help continue our mission to promote independence, a sense of Deaf pride, socialization, American Sign Language exposure, positive adult role models, awareness and education. Our program is open to Deaf and hard of hearing children, family, friends or any child wanting to learn American Sign Language in a safe and fun environment.

KidSigns is currently solely funded through private grants and donations.

Help us continue our mission and make a difference in our deaf/hard of hearing community.

If you have any questions and are willing to donate just 15 minutes of your time, please contact me as soon as possible

Thank you for your continued support of our d/hh communities!

Deb Atwood

Business Manager, DHHS

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Bill Would Let Seniors Use Medicare Coverage For Hearing Aids.

The Hill  (4/1, Marcos) reports in its “Floor Action” blog that Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) has introduced legislation that would let seniors use Medicare coverage to pay for hearing aids. The article says that digital hearing aids can cost about $4,000, while other devices cost under $1,000. “No one should feel isolated, confused or shut out from the world around them because they cannot afford the treatment they need. This bill is just one piece of the puzzle to bring our fragmented and unnavigable health care system into the 21st century to better serve seniors and families,” Dingell said in a statement.

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President’s Message for April, 2015

It is important more than ever to contribute to the Club’s future. We are continuing with the new model but we would like your input on how to move forward collectively.

Many of you have voiced your opinions, but we would like even more participation this coming year. There are several opportunities to get involved, recruit other people and support our focused mission.

I recently ‘attended’ a webinar, 7 Habits of Highly Effective Organizations. It is a model for non-profits to engage their organizations in a variety of thoughtful, productive planning stages along with manageable skills that embrace high performance. The name of the website is www.performanceimperative.org  and you will find the document that defines roles, actions and sustainability.

I understand that we are a small club, but that doesn’t mean we have to act that way. I think some of the principles discussed in the webinar are crucial to the continual development of Quota. Please read about it.

We are all leaders of our organization. ‘Work smarter, not harder’ is a motto that was repeated several times during this planning. Now that we have a focused mission, a framework for encouraging others to join us and a future that is promising, we can do this.

Thank you,


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