These are the Difference Makers™
The people who formed the Sertoma Speech and Hearing Center 42 years ago felt that all patients should receive quality speech and hearing care. Their goal is to provide speech, language and hearing diagnostics as well as therapy services to the people of West Central Florida, regardless of their ability to pay. They believe everyone has the right to effective communication and their staff is dedicated to making sure this happens.
Some examples of their services include, Infant & Toddler Services- Diagnostic Hearing Assessments, Hearing Aid Loan Banks, and Infant Hearing Screenings. Children, adults and seniors services include- Diagnostic Hearing Assessments, Hearing Aid Evaluations, Fitting/Dispensing of Hearing Aids, and Repairs & Ear molds. There is also a job coaching group for young adults 16-21 yrs. of age to help them enter the workforce successfully.
Another important program - S.H.A.R.P. or the Sertoma Hearing Aid Recycling Program. They take recycled and refurbished hearing aids and make them available, as well as their services, to persons over 65 years old. This program is based on financial need, and an application process is required.
Crossroads for Kids inspires at-risk youth to develop their innate potential to become members of the next generation of diverse young leaders in Massachusetts, specifically the Boston Area, by breaking the cycle of poverty and under-achievement and yielding systemic change in the communities where they live. Children receive access to a safe and caring community where they discover a sense of belonging and a passion for life. Through a unique combination of immersive summer camp, year-round mentoring, and enrichment programs, Crossroads provides youth ages 7 - 18 with comprehensive support, resources and opportunities to discover self-confidence, as well as guidance toward academic success, higher education, meaningful careers and responsible citizenship. The workshop curriculum includes topics such as confidence, communication and change, as well as leadership skill building, college readiness, financial literacy and community service projects. 42 children graduated from the program this month, May 2013.
Past experience shows that children who are long-term members of the Crossroads for Kids year-round program (5-10 years) are successful! 100% have graduated from high school and 90% were accepted into college. The majority of the teens are first generation college students and serve in leadership positions on their campuses. Over 25% of graduates continue their relationship with Crossroads for Kids and return to volunteer to help pay it forward.
Did you know that approximately 1 in 5 children suffer from an emotional or mental health disorder? The statistics are staggering! Thousands of kids who are suffering each year commit suicide, which is the third leading cause of death in youth ages 15-24. Over 90% of children and adolescents who commit suicide have a mental disorder. 50% of students who are untreated will NOT graduate from high school! MACMH is an organization dedicated to helping children & youth who struggle with various types of mental illness. Their mission statement is to promote positive mental health for all infants, children, adolescents and their families.
MACMH provides parent education, training and workshops, as well as referral information and parent coaching services. They train parents in advocacy or leadership skills and make them aware of what the warning signs are for their children. MACMH provides publications for parents or professionals working with children who are at risk. They have developed classroom curricula, professional trainings, and an annual conference that provides parents and professionals the opportunity to share the latest research and practices in the field. Youth have taken a central role in MACMH's effort to promote mental well-being and fight stigma through arts based outreach activities such as the Open-Up Campaign.
MACMH has developed and distributed a multi-component anti-teasing campaign called Super Me for use in elementary schools. The campaign went on-line in an interactive curriculum entitled "The Defenders of Clearview School."; The Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health division promotes relationship-based mental health programs throughout the systems and disciplines that touch the lives of infants, young children, and their families. Another program they have developed is Fidgety Fairy Tales Once upon a time, familiar fairy tales were re-imagined to show positive portrayals of children with mental health disorders to raise awareness and reduce stigma! These original hour-long musical theatre productions are performed by a talented cast of actors ages 9 - 18 both with and without mental health disorders.
The Rose Brucia Educational Foundation was founded by Matthew J. Barbis when his 11 year-old cousin, Carlie Brucia, was abducted and killed in Sarasota, Florida in 2004. (He named the non-profit organization after his grandmother). The Foundation's goal is to reduce the number of child abductions in America by educating and empowering young minds.
Utilizing puppets and simple self-defense techniques, the foundation visits elementary schools on a regular basis and performs a Stranger Safety Program, free of charge. The program provides elementary aged children the tools they need to assist them in their own safety, as it relates to strangers. Two of the programs are titled- "What to Do If a Stranger Approaches You" and "What to Do If You Get Lost at the Mall".
A formalized special education program has also been developed to address stranger safety concepts through middle school. This curriculum focuses on three fundamental concepts: Awareness, Safety and Trust.
Please log on to www.rosebrucia.org to learn more about this amazing organization that took the worse situation imaginable and turned it around into a proactive group to help other families & children be safe.
They are looking to order pencils or pens as handouts for teachers or those who attend their lectures for raising awareness.
Camp LuWiSoMo is a faith-based outdoor ministry & retreat located in South Central Wisconsin. The program has been in existence for over 50 years! The camp leaders and volunteers are dedicated to providing faith-growing opportunities in a Christ-centered outdoor ministry setting for all ages.
There is a wide variety of camp experience programs for kids of all ages. There are weekend camps for pre-kindergarten to 1st grade students, as well as 1st through 3rd grade children. There are weeklong programs for students in grades 2nd through 8th, as well as a week-long event called "Joyful Hearts" for children with developmental disabilities. At the "Joyful Hearts" Camp Event- individuals will be set up one-to-one or possibly two-to-one with a camp leader to make sure they can participate in any activity and enjoy the complete experience.
Weekend retreats specifically for women or men allow individuals to deepen their faith, try new activities, and work through their challenges together. Children also have the chance to attend a variety of 2-hour specialty programs. These programs were designed for children with specific interests in horses, rocketry, biking, sports, music or drama, hunter safety, the arts, etc.
This summer, there will be a 5K or 10K run/walk event. The funds raised will go to help children without the financial means to attend the summer camps. The organizers are looking to MARCO to help provide T-shirts for those participating in the race, as well as to help raise awareness for the event.
Team MARCO and Difference Makers™ may be able to help you in your effort to help others. Each week a $500 credit to use towards a promotional products order (including any set up fees and shipping) will be given free to a 501 (c) (3) organization. Difference Makers™ are welcome to apply.
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