HANDS WITH HEART
Hands with Hearts is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that focuses on providing opportunities to empower, educate, and enhance the lives of children, who are deaf or hard of hearing, and promote and strengthen family connections. Hands with Heart has been in existence since 1998, but has recently been restructured with the changes begining in September, 2019. This is strictly a volunteer organization with 100% of the funds going to benefit the children and their families.
Our mission is to provide opportunities to empower, educate, and enhance the lives of children, who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, and encourage, promote, and strengthen family connection.
Overnight camps will be offered during school breaks. Many students sit at home during breaks and have very little communication with anyone and may feel isolated and alone. The goal of the camps is to provide experiential learning, education, and empowerment activities with different ‘themes’ for each camp during their breaks. Camps will also have activities to include family members on the opening night of each camp, such as pizza and games.
Camp ‘themes’ will include:
Experiential learning camp
• Family Events
Opportunities will be offered for youth to participate in activities with their families where everyone knows sign language and can communicate with them. The goal is to strengthen family relations and connect families within the community who experiencing the same family dynamic.
• Youth Leadership Team’
Students at West End Middle School will be involved in the ‘Youth Leadership Team’. Students meet monthly to discuss and plan upcoming events and create ideas for fundraisers for the program. The students themselves will be responsible for creating the different activities behind the camps and family events. The goal is to empower the students through leadership and decision-making and create a sense of ownership with the different events and camps. They will have a budget they need to follow and will learn the value of raising money and spending it appropriately.
• Community Outings- High School Students
In collaboration with Hillsboro high school, 4 community outings will take place during the school year. Students will visit deaf adults who are working in the community, visit local colleges and learning centers, learn how to use public transportation, etc. The goal is to empower the students to feel comfortable and confident being a part of their community.
• Classroom Materials
Students, who are deaf or hard of hearing, learn visually and conceptually and need specific materials to support their learning, which is often not provided by Metro Schools. Hands with Heart provide classrooms with necessary materials that meet the special needs of the students (books, videos, special ASL literacy materials, etc). The goal is to empower the students through literacy and learning. Learning is power!