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St. Petersburg, FL (February 14, 2022) – Voices of Hope for Aphasia is honored to announce the receipt of an Operating Grant and a continuing partnership with Pinellas Community Foundation (PCF) bringing vital programs to people with a language disorder due to stroke or other brain injury. Since 1969, PCF has been focused on serving the needs of Pinellas County residents, and this is the second year they are supporting the expanding programs at Voices of Hope for Aphasia’s two locations within Pinellas County.

Voices of Hope for Aphasia is the only community-based aphasia center in the Tampa Bay area. Aphasia affects the way a person communicates and comprehends but does NOT diminish intellect. Being able to effectively communicate is essential for day-to-day life. People with aphasia tend to withdraw with severe consequences; significant physical & mental health issues, decreased quality of life, barriers to healthcare, and devastating financial impacts. The ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has placed them at even greater risk, making the social supports offered by Voices of Hope for Aphasia even more critical.

Thanks to the generous award from PCF, Voices of Hope for Aphasia’s innovative programs in St. Petersburg and Dunedin, will continue to provide opportunities for people with aphasia, helping to expand their communication, increase connections, and improve quality of life through supported activities. The core of their services, the “Living with Aphasia” program, offers group activities like Aphasia Book Club for supported reading and discussion. Writing Groups encourage people with various levels of severity to return to functional writing, such as completing medical forms or writing personal accounts. “Aphasia Presentations” uses evidence-based activities to improve daily speech. And our Aphasia CAN program offers our members arts, crafts, games, and conversation in a supported environment. Voices of Hope for Aphasia currently offers 16+ activities per week allowing members to select a curriculum based on interest or language ability. Other programs provide necessary, and otherwise unavailable, access to aphasia experts who provide in-depth education to the family unit. Voices of Hope for Aphasia offers these programs to people with aphasia and their families regardless of ability to pay, making partnerships like the one with Pinellas Community Foundation so critical to their mission.

“We are proud to partner with PCF to make life for all Pinellas County residents better”, says Debbie Yones, Voices of Hope for Aphasia’s Executive Director. “Voices of Hope for Aphasia receives 2-3 calls per week from people desperate for help and resources for themselves or a loved one facing the rest of their lives with aphasia.  With Pinellas Community Foundation’s support, we are able to expand our capacity to welcome more people into our family of support, expertise, and especially, hope!”

VOH Executive Director, Debbie Yones, with David Bender, Pinellas Community Foundation Director of Grants and Operations, at the Voices of Hope for Aphasia Center Ribbon Cutting in October, 2021.
Voices of Hope for Aphasia members engaging in conversation and social connections during a group activity at their center. Feb 2022.

About Voices of Hope for Aphasia:  Voices of Hope for Aphasia is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting participation, supporting communication, and developing community among individuals whose ability to speak, understand, write, or read was affected due to stroke or other brain injury.  The organization was formed in 2011 by founders Mike and Kathy Caputo after Mike’s stroke at the age of 51.  Aphasia impacts over 2.4 million people in the US.  There are over twice as many people living with aphasia than Parkinson’s and 150 times more than those with ALS.  One in three people who suffer a stroke will have some form of aphasia and may suffer isolation, frustration, and depression due to the disorder.   For more information about how our programs help to increase quality of life and end isolation, please visit www.vohaphasia.org

About Pinellas Community Foundation: Founded in 1969, Pinellas Community Foundation (PCF) is the only organization of its kind, dedicated to perpetually enhancing the lives of every Pinellas County Resident. Serving Pinellas for nearly half a century, more than 130 charitable agencies rely on generous donor-funded grants distributed by PCF. For more information about PCF, please visit www.pinellascf.org.