Memphis Oral School for the Deaf

Project #4: Memphis Oral School for the Deaf


Their Mission:

Empowering Deaf Children to Listen, Learn, and Talk. 

C+C Impact:

Confections & Connections was able to purchase many home therapy tools & toys needed to fill "welcome kits" given to families who have newly joined MOSD's Sound Beginnings Program!



What is MOSD?

Memphis Oral School for the Deaf is... awesome. They really are. I had never heard of the amazing work of MOSD prior to someone suggesting it as a potential project. Little did I know, I actually pass it on Poplar almost on a daily basis. You may not have heard of it either and I am happy to fill you in!

Memphis Oral School for the Deaf, or MOSD, was founded over 50 years ago & now resides in Germantown, TN on the campus of Kingsway Christian Church (right by Whole Foods). This non-profit specifically serves deaf children ranging from birth to 6 years of age. Their goal is to set a solid educational foundation for hearing-impaired children, giving them equal opportunity to succeed among all their peers. In fact, when a child graduates from MOSD, they are able to move into their neighborhood schools & into everyday life with little to no set backs resulting from hearing loss. 

Something you may find interesting... MOSD does not use any sign language. Instead they are committed to the auditory/oral approach. If desired, technology today actually makes sign language (for most) no longer necessary. With proper amplification, deaf children have the opportunity to listen, learn, and talk. Therefore, with the use of a hearing device, MOSD's unique resources, & a daily combination of age-appropriate education, speech-language therapy, & audiological services, a deaf child can & will learn how to listen... how to learn... & how to talk. So cool!

 Music fun at MOSD!
"With the technology (hearing aids and cochlear implants) and early auditory-verbal intervention available today, a child with hearing loss CAN have the same opportunity as a child with typical hearing to develop audition, speech, language, cognition, conversational competence, literacy skills, and academic skills." **
 
"Fortunately, 95 percent of these {hearing impaired} children have at least some degree of residual (or undamaged) hearing. Only about 5 percent have what can be termed as a "total loss" of hearing, for whom the cochlear implant is now available. As a general rule, it can be said that if a hearing-impaired child does not develop the ABILITY TO SPEAK, it is because he was simply not taught to do so." **

Getting Connected!

This project was especially fun to get connected with. With previous projects, I simply collected the money & donated at the duration of the Projects. Though I still enjoyed that process with other organizations, MOSD was the first Project I REALLY got connected with. This time through I thought, "Maybe I should let the organization know what I'm doing...?" Well, no kidding.

MOSD was more than welcoming when I contacted them! I was immediately invited to the school for a tour & to meet the staff/ students & all around learn more about what MOSD is all about. Not surprisingly, I was pleasantly overwhelmed as I walked through the school. It looked like every other pre-school with art work covering the walls & children in music class/ learning in the classroom, but much more happens within those walls. Special rooms with fancy equipment, microphones attached to teachers, & hearing aids camouflaged on each child were just a few of the more obvious differences. I had the opportunity to talk to many of the staff members, who I kid you not, were some of the nicest & most caring individuals I have had the pleasure of meeting.  I also got to go classroom to classroom, meeting the students & observing them learn. When I walked in, the kids were excited to see a guest & were more than willing to tell me all about what they were doing. As they talked & the teacher asked them questions about their work, without them even noticing, their speech was in practice as they were directed answer to answer. It was very cool to witness the process of learning at MOSD. It is amazing how much these children have to accomplish, just to catch up with a hearing peer & nonetheless, they pass with flying colors.

I also had the opportunity to attend the MOSD graduation ceremony which was 100% one of the cutest & sweetest things I have ever seen. I saw many happy tears & big smiles as family & friends watched their tiny people in caps & gowns walk down the aisle. The ceremony seemed to stand for so much more than the transition from one school to the next. This graduation represented the defeat of hearing loss. The defeat of something that was once a set back but now plays little significance in the lives of these children. These kids are no longer different than anyone else. Their hearing will not define them nor will it hold them back. These kids are truly inspiring. One of my favorite parts- each graduate playing the violin!

Memphis Oral School for the Deaf is unique & truly a blessing. MOSD is an asset to hearing impaired children & schools like MOSD are not on every corner. Their work serves a specific yet much needed purpose. I am so thankful & honored to have such a school right here in Germantown. They touch & help many lives in our community and in those surrounding who drive many miles to be a part of the school. Not to mention, they are a non-profit... unreal. 

If you would like to learn more about MOSD or see what else you can do to donate, help, show appreciation, support, etc. head on over to their website at MOSDKIDS.org!


Confections & Connections Impact

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With all the orders and additional donations, we were able to raise a little over $600 for MOSD!! This donation went towards their Sound Beginnings Family Training Program! With each new family who starts this program, MOSD gives a "welcome kit" filled with toys & tools that the parents can take home & use with their children in an attempt to jumpstart & stimulate language. Each item in the basket serves a specific purpose in the home therapy process, preparing each child for the next step in overcoming their hearing impairment. This is an awesome program that MOSD offers and many new families are joining this fall. With that, a lot of baskets will need to be filled! Thats where C+C came in!

Sounds Beginnings is an early intervention program designed for families with infants or children (birth-3years) who have been newly diagnosed with any degree or type of hearing loss. In the Sound Beginnings Program, MOSD offers a multitude of services including: language, listening, and speech therapy for individual families (English and/or Spanish), monthly educational meetings, on-site audiology services, & more. Parents are trained to become their child's first teacher. They will discover how to turn every day routines into listening & language experiences. 

Want to learn more about the Sound Beginnings Program, click below.

** quotes found on MOSDKIDS.org

The Humane Society of Memphis & Shelby County

Project #3: The Humane Society of Memphis & Shelby County

Their Mission:

"To offer refuge, medical care, nourishment and an opportunity for a second chance at life to injured and abused animals; to protect animals from cruelty, neglect, carelessness, and ignorance; to foster public sentiment of humanity and gentleness toward animals and promote responsible pet ownership through humane education; and, to enhance the quality of human life through animal companionship."

C+C Impact:

Confections & Connections was able to provide the Humane Society with various supplies needed to run their day to day operations including: animal food, toys, treats, office supplies, cleaning supplies, etc. 


"Be Human. Be Humane."

The Human Society of Memphis is a very special organization. Since 1933, they have been dedicated to helping animals in the Memphis area, specifically those that are injured or have been abused. Sadly, every year, thousands of animals are neglected and/or abused in our own community. Fortunately, the Humane Society provides for these animals, giving many a second chance at life & the support needed for a brighter future. The organization offers a safe place for them to recover, nutritious food, as well as great veterinary care. Also, along with these essentials, the organization also focuses on the animals emotional support, training, and socialization abilities that will allow them to be adopted into new and loving homes!

The Humane Society is unique in that they are not technically a non-profit but instead run entirely on private donations from people and businesses. Entirely... 100% of their funding comes from the generosity and care of the public. Not to mention, at any given time, you can expect to find over 300 animals being cared for in their facility, with dozens more placed in foster care until they are ready to be adopted. So it doesn't take very long to do the math on that but caring for over 300 animals every day (animals that have been injured or abused and need extra/special care) who need vet care, food, toys, beds, etc. + maintenance/ up-keep/ rent + supplies for daily operations + etc., etc., etc. = A LOT of donations. 

I decided to make the Humane Society of Memphis & Shelby County C+C's Project #3 for many reasons, a few being...

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  1. My family and I are big animal lovers. Through the years we have rescued, owned, and fostered many animals and each one has brought us much happiness and unconditional love!
  2. Several people (especially my animal loving fam) requested I do an organization that helped our four legged friends.
  3. The Humane Society is a no-kill shelter and never euthanizes an animal for time or space reasons. Animals may only be euthanized in cases where an animal is too sick to maintain a good quality of life or an animals aggressive behavior shows to be a danger to people.
  4. Even though a typical Project at Confections & Connections will focus on helping people, animals deserve love and care too. No animal should ever be taken under the care of a human and then neglected or abused. Animal cruelty is a terrible thing that truly hurts my heart and I am extremely grateful for the Humane Society and other organizations alike who dedicate their resources to providing better lives for these animals.

These reasons among others led me to the Humane Society & I am happy to give back to such an organization. 


Getting Connected

Confections & Connections was able to connect with the Humane Society by providing supplies needed in order for the organization to run on a daily bases. Along with food, toys, towels, blankets, treats, and other supplies for the animals, the organization also asks for office supplies such as pens, tape, bandaids, soap, lent rollers, paper towels, etc. Thanks to many orders over the last few months + several donations dedicated to Project #3, C+C was able to provide lots of these items! 

My best friend, Kelley, volunteered to go to the Humane Society to help donate the supplies. When we arrived, we were greeted with such kindness & appreciation as we explained our purpose for being there & unloaded the supplies. It was fun to see the staff unpack these items... getting excited over the little things like bandaids & masking tape, expressing how useful these things would be. They were extremely grateful, immediately taking my picture and quickly posting it to their facebook page, thanking Confections & Connections for choosing their organization to donate! Afterwards, they told us we were welcome to look around & of course we took them up on their offer. As we walked from cage to cage, we had to hold back our tears. There are so many sweet puppies & kitties just waiting for someone to take them home & love on them. These animals ranged in age, breed, size, color, and personalities, but the backgrounds were all the same. Every one of these animals has had a rough start having been either neglected, injured, or abused. Some of them showed their past with battle scars... missing legs, eyes, or by hiding in the corner, scared we were just like the last person who hurt them. Some you would have never known... happily greeting us with excitement, wondering if we were there to play, and no scars to be seen with the eyes. Some had red adoption slips on their cages, while some still wait for someone to choose them as their newest family member. At the end of our tour, we truly wanted to take every one of them home. Unfortunately, we both had to leave empty handed this time, but I definitely plan to come back one day; leaving with my arms & heart full! Even though these animals are getting great care & much love from the staff & volunteers at the Humane Society, they each deserve, need, and wait anxiously for a permanent home & a human friend to call their own.

If you are looking to adopt a pet, a way to volunteer, and/ or an organization to donate, I highly recommend you consider the Humane Society of Memphis & Shelby County. If you want to learn more, click below to visit their website & see the great things they are doing! You can also make a cash donation here & see how every dollar amount will help the facility, see the list of supplies needed if you would like to donate this way, and also learn how you can volunteer your time! 


THANK YOU 

I really cannot thank each of you enough for the support you have shown me and therefore the support you've also shown to these wonderful non-profits in our community. Together we may not be able to save the world, but we sure can make a difference here at home. Together we have already touched many lives and I could not be more excited to see where our connections will go from here. 

NEXT PROJECT =

Project #4: Memphis Oral School for the Deaf

Youth Villages

Project #2: Youth Villages


C + C Impact:

Their Mission: 

Confections & Connections was able to sponsor FOUR children through Youth Villages Holiday Hero Program, providing them each with gifts from their Christmas wish list.

“to help children and families live successfully. Regardless of which Youth Villages Program a child participates in, our approach centers around strengthening the child’s family and support systems.”


Youth Villages is a private nonprofit organization that is making a BIG difference in the lives of many troubled youth through services in 72 locations across 13 states and the District of Columbia. The organization focuses on helping children from birth to age 22 who face a wide range of emotional and behavioral problems by providing “a fully integrated continuum of services, including residential treatment, in-home services, foster care and adoption, mentoring and a transitional living program for young adults aging out of foster care.” Their goal is to build strong families and with years of extensive research, they have shown much success in doing just that! Additionally, Youth Villages provides communities and governments a better alternative to youth who are involved in the states child welfare, juvenile justice, and/or mental health system. 

Memphis is not only one of the 58 cities in which Youth Villages serves, but the organization was actually founded here in 1986. Since then the organization has grown exponentially. This year alone, Youth Villages will serve more than 22,000 emotionally and behaviorally troubled children and their families. With each day, Youth Villages serves around 4,300 adolescents with approximately 2,261 of those children being from Tennessee. In fact, Youth Villages makes a large imprint on our volunteer state by providing services in every county throughout TN. Also, interestingly enough, in Memphis, Youth Villages provides the only licensed run-away and homeless shelter for teens through one of their programs: Project Safe Place.

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I was pleased to name Youth Villages Project #2. I actually did not know much about the organization prior to this project. The nonprofit had been recommended to me and so as project #2 approached, I took a look at their website. As I searched through, my heart broke. It was really hard to see the faces of these children who are lost, troubled, looking for help, a family, etc. and not feel a large dose of heart throbbing empathy. Being a kid is supposed to be the blissful, naïve, easy part of life and yet so many children will never experience that. Instead, these kids are faced with challenges and sadness that you hope no one has to face, much less a child. However, Youth Villages shines a light on these kids and provides hope and opportunity for them and their families. The passion and success behind the nonprofit is clear and their mission to help has not disappointed. Because of Youth Villages, thousands of children have made the transition from lost to found, troubled kid to successful adult, orphan to child. And with this knowledge, the nonprofit proudly became C + Cs next connection. 


Confections & Connections was able to connect with Youth Villages in a fun and festive way! During the holiday season, Youth Villages offers you the opportunity to be a childs Holiday Hero! To become a Holiday Hero you can either donate to the cause or you can also choose to shop & wrap gifts for specific children. 

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Confections & Connections chose the latter option and with the money raised from orders along with donations specifically provided for Project #3, C + C was able to support FOUR children this Christmas Season!! Their wish lists were fulfilled and presents, specifically and thoughtfully chosen for them, were prepared and ready to be unwrapped. This year, 4 more kids woke up with excitement, anticipation, and fuller hearts on Christmas morning. Of course, the purpose of the program goes much further than the immediate satisfaction of the tangible gifts they each received. The toys will one day be lost or broken and then inevitably outgrown, but the happy memories and the feeling they felt this Christmas Season will last much longer. So, from the bottom of my heart, thank YOU for your orders and generous donations! Thank you for supporting Confections & Connections and for bringing Marcus, Branon, Shervon, and Cristavius much joy & happiness to end the year of 2015.

 

 

Want to learn more about Youth Villages or see how you can further get involved?? Click on the button below & visit their website!

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Midsouth Food Bank

Project #1: Mid-South Food Bank

Their Mission:  “Bringing the food-insecure population from hunger to health through collaborative partnerships and the effective distribution of nutritious food in our communities.”

Their Vision:  “Changing lives by eliminating food insecurity throughout our Mid-South communities.       

C + C Impact:  Confections & Connections was able to provide 864 Nutritious Meals to food insecure children throughout the Mid-South!! 


The Mid-South Food Bank is nothing less than an amazing charitable organization. Their focus is on feeding the need or as they say, the food insecure. The organization serves children, families, and seniors who do not always have access to enough food to meet basic needs. In 2014 alone, the Mid-South Food Bank provided food for an estimated 230,000 different people. The organization served nearly 94,000 households throughout the year and also provided food assistance to about 23,000 different people each week. Amazing. Needless to say, the Mid-South Food Bank makes a difference, and a big one at that.

It did not take me long to decide that the Mid-South Food Bank would be Confections & Connections first project. After looking around their website and seeing the impact they make on Memphis and the other 30 counties they serve, I was in. So my Mom and I filled out a volunteer form, got our background checks, went to orientation, and then had the opportunity to volunteer at the Kids Café, one of the various volunteer programs the Food Bank provides. We chose the Kids Café because both of us have a soft spot for children, especially those who are less fortunate and may need a little extra TLC. Not to mention, 26% of those served by the Mid-South Food Bank are children 18 and under. At the Kids Café, my mom and I helped to cook and serve meals after school to children involved in the Boys and Girls Club (another great organization). This was a great experience and I hope to be able to volunteer again soon.

The Mid-South Food Bank makes it easy to get involved and help those here in our own community. They have various volunteer opportunities and ALWAYS need volunteers who are willing to lend a helping hand. They also have figured out how to convert just ONE dollar into THREE nutritious meals, how cool is that?


When Project #1 came to an end, Confections and Connections was able to provide 864 NUTRITIOUS MEALS to food insecure children throughout the Mid-South!! Thanks to my first customers and a few donations, 864 children are a little less hungry today. After the donation, I received a handwritten thank you note that meant the world to me and that I will cherish forever. I want to share it with you because even though it was addressed to me, this would not have been possible without YOUR help (and love for sweets):

“Dear Ms. Loebel, Please accept this note of gratitude for your recent gift to the Food Bank. Your generous support shines a ray of hope on children facing food insecurity.”

“a ray of hope,” I love that. Want to help provide hope to more children, families, or seniors in the Mid-South? Consider volunteering or donating to the Mid-South Food Bank. As little as $1 goes a long way. I guarantee you will make someone’s day a little brighter, including your own!