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  5. Voices of Hope for Aphasia Launches...

St. Petersburg, FL (May 18, 2020) Voices of Hope for Aphasia, a 501(c)3 non-profit, is launching a new program. Aphasia Gives Back, is a network of volunteering opportunities in our community for those who suffer from aphasia. Just like everyone else, those with aphasia have a desire to feel productive and useful, they want to give back to their community, but frequently their language disorder can prevent them from returning to work or participating in most volunteering positions. Voices of Hope for Aphasia members have volunteered as a group at thrift stores, homeless shelters serving meals, sorting food donations, and more. The Aphasia Gives Back program will expand those options through partnerships with local charities, hospitals, churches, and small businesses. 

Until it is safe to volunteer in person, the Voices of Hope members have been working on initiatives that they can do while still staying at home. They have started by compiling a list of recommendations to support small businesses that they want to help to survive this crisis, building a booklet of restaurants, boutiques, spas, breweries, and more, encouraging them to frequent when it is safe.

“Our friends, neighbors, and community need help right now”, says Voices of Hope for Aphasia Executive Director, Debbie Yones. “We have been planning a program focused on broadening the ability and opportunities for volunteering for some time, and now is the time to act. There is great excitement from our members and our staff to do what we can to help the community that has given them so much”.

Voices of Hope for Aphasia is one of the largest and fastest-growing community-based aphasia centers in the United States, and their programming is rooted in the Life Participation Approach to aphasia which encourages and supports reconnecting people with aphasia to their lives and interests. All their programs operate on a contribute- what-you-can model ensuring that everyone can participate regardless of their financial situation. Voices of Hope for Aphasia’s staff is comprised of licensed speech pathologists who continue to receive broad industry recognition. Today, Voices of Hope for Aphasia is serving a small percentage of the estimated 23,000 people in the Tampa Bay Area who have aphasia. Adding this program will not only expand the understanding of aphasia, but it will also help raise awareness for other organizations who do all they can to support the community.

For more information or to get involved in this program, visit Aphasia Gives Back or call 727-249-1953.

About the organization: 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 on our programs – please visit https://www.vohaphasia.org