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  5. Voices of Hope for Aphasia Announces...

Tampa, FL (September 29, 2020) – Voices of Hope for Aphasia is pleased to announce a grant from the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay, an organization focused on making a positive impact on the Tampa Bay region.

In April 2020, Voices of Hope for Aphasia was scheduled to move their programming from the Sunshine Senior Center in St. Petersburg to their own center, dedicated to providing group activities to people with aphasia and their families.  Those plans were put on hold due to the COVID-19 outbreak and weekly activities were moved to an online platform to keep members connected while staying safe. 

Most people with aphasia experience other health complications that place them in the high-risk category for the virus, so extra precautions are necessary when considering the plan to return to in-person programming.   In order to ensure the new center would be a safe place for people with disabilities to receive the services they depend upon, Voices of Hope for Aphasia faced unexpected expenses for renovations and to purchase necessary supplies.

The generous grant received from the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay will cover the costs to install laminate flooring to quickly clean between programs and to ensure any areas with spills or accidents are thoroughly disinfected, table-top touchless hand-sanitizer stations to place throughout the center accessible to all, disinfecting supplies to clean all furniture and materials daily, and clear face-masks.  People with aphasia are at a disadvantage when masks conceal the face because they rely on clues from facial expressions and the formation of words to assist their comprehension. These modifications will address current and future safety precautions and allow for prompt and thorough disinfection of all surfaces.

Aphasia is a language disorder due to stroke or brain injury which can severely impact the way a person expresses themselves and connects with others – the added isolation due to COVID-19 has placed them at even greater risk. 

“We are so grateful to the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay for their commitment to helping organizations overcome the challenges we face during this pandemic”, says Debbie Yones, Voices of Hope for Aphasia’s Executive Director. “Nonprofits have had to manage the cancellation of fund-raising events, reductions in funding sources, uncertain economic climates, and unforeseen expenses.  With the generous contributions of our funders, we have the means to keep our groups safe and healthy now, and in the future.” 

The Community Foundation of Tampa Bay has been growing philanthropy in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando and Citrus counties since 1990.  The Foundation’s donors have made possible more than $210 million in grants to nonprofit organizations.

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 https://www.vohaphasia.org      

About Community Foundation of Tampa Bay: Founded in 1990, the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay is a nonprofit organization that connects people and resources to inspire charitable giving and create a meaningful, lasting impact on our region. The Foundation serves Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando and Citrus counties. The Community Foundation of Tampa Bay connects donors, nonprofits, community and business leaders, professional advisors, volunteers and residents to make the maximum positive impact in the Tampa Bay region. For more than 28 years, the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay has been dedicated to making giving easy and meaningful for donors as a way to strengthen nonprofit organizations and build a better, more vibrant community. Since its inception, its donors have enabled the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay to award more than $210 million in grants to nonprofit organizations across the country.