Monday, August 31, 2020

#ThankfulThursday: Madisyn's Barn Busting Yard Sale Raises Over $2200 in 2 Days


Hope truly is not cancelled. Our CCA families are still celebrating Craniofacial Acceptance Month in big ways during a worldwide pandemic. During the weekend of August 21 and 22, the Madisyn, Lisa, and Dave Alters hosted a huge yard sale that raised over $2200 in just two days. Everything you could imagine from clothes, housewares, records, games, and more were on sale and up for grabs all to help our CCA families. 

The yard sale was not all about raising funds, it was also about sharing and owning your story, too. Madisyn and her family were able to share their story with the many people who shopped. Lisa says, "THANK YOU” to all who attended our Yard Sale in Harmony, PA on Friday and Saturday August 21 and 22.
We had the opportunity over the past 2 days to meet some “AMAZING” people & share Madisyn’s story and surgical photos about having a Craniofacial Difference There was “LOTS” of work involved, AKA a labor of love, but it was a triple benefit...people got good deals, we purged stuff we didn’t need and CCA is getting a $2,250 donation. We were also able to maintain safe social distancing."

September is Craniofacial Awareness Month and to kick it off the Alter family have another Labor Day yard sale in the works. Friends and neighbors should stay tuned to the Lisa's Facebook timeline for the dates. Lisa says, "We are likely to hold the sale on Friday, Sept. 4th & Saturday, Sept. 5th from 8AM-2PM." (Still, as with everything this year, please check back to be certain.) 

Further, the Alters family encourages other families to commit to some fundraising too. Lisa says, "I would encourage our network of families to take this opportunity to do something similar, in an effort to support CCA, in lieu of our Annual Picnic & Gatherings in September! Even if you’re unable to donate ALL your proceeds, every little bit helps."

Forever innovative fundraisers, the family hosted a spaghetti dinner at the beginning of the year that spread awareness, fun, and built connections with CCA members new and old. The dinner and donated auction items raised a whopping $7,000 thanks to the hard work of Seneca Valley student Maddie Karchut. You can read more about it in this blog post.


Thank you, Madisyn, Lisa, and Dave for all you do for CCA!


Thursday, August 27, 2020

Hope is Not Canceled – We Celebrate Craniofacial Families in September 2020



Dallas, TX -- Children's Craniofacial Association celebrates its 16th Annual Craniofacial Acceptance Month this year. We continue to keep this annual tradition alive, while we socially distance and stay safe.

This year our theme is “Hope is Not Canceled,” as our mission statement pledges “to bring hope and empowerment to children and families affected by facial differences.”

While we cannot gather in person, we still believe that knowing someone out there shares your unique journey of living with a facial difference in your corner, makes life easier and so much better. This year we have pivoted our family networking to offer a bevy of virtual offerings -- our First Ever Virtual Retreat in June 2020, hosting ongoing virtual support group sessions, engaging in art therapy hours, creating storytelling workshops, and so much more. Our members will remain in solidarity with one another from the safety and convenience of home. Our CAM celebration this year will continue to connect families from across the country through the power and magic of technology.

Incidentally, going virtual has allowed us to reach more people than ever! Including those previously underserved who could not attend regional events. Now more than ever, we have hope and insight for a more inclusive future.

The fun continues during September as we encourage families to contact their local media and state government offices to recognize Craniofacial Acceptance Month and the amazing strength and resilience of our kids. All month long, we will have an awareness-raising sign campaign. Look for our CAM signs on a front lawn near you. From Monday, September 14th through Friday, September 18th, we will feature the stories of inspirational speakers each day on our social media platforms. And finally, during the third week of September, we will participate in Kindness Rocks, a fun project where kids decorate rocks with motivational sayings and leave them for others to discover in parks, on trails, and even in offices and classrooms!

All of these efforts bring awareness to those who look different, but who feel love, hope, and hurt just like you! Please join us because together we can end bullying and break down the barriers of discrimination. It takes a sustained effort to educate the public as we work together to foster compassion, tolerance, and empathy for all humans. These precious virtues will be just a click away this year! Everything will be online and accessible to all!

Children's Craniofacial Association, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Dallas, Texas and founded in 1989, serves over 20,000 families per year and an additional 10,000 unaffected students in schools across the country. CCA's mission is empowering and giving hope to individuals and families affected by facial differences. CCA envisions a world where all people are accepted for who they are, not how they look. To request free educational curriculum and additional resources, visit http://www.ccakids.org.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Masks For All 2.0: Masks for Communication, Lip Reading, and Eye Protection

Masks For All...The Quest Continues

My quest to improve accessibility to masks continues. Back in March, I posted a video and created a blog post that you can find here about masks that tie around the head rather than anchor around the ears. Some people with craniofacial differences do not have ears, or like me, they wear hearing aids that take up real estate where the mask would fasten. Through the use of masks that tie to the head, an ear saver, or headband to bypass the ears, we discovered that we could overcome anatomical issues so that masks can fasten to the head. Now, as we head back to school or into work, we must move to the next level of masking up, focusing our attention on improving communication for those that lip read and keeping eyes safe. 

Lip-Reading Masks

Teachers will be back in classrooms with their students. People will be back in the office a few days of the week. All of us will be the need to wear a mask. Many people that are hard of hearing or deaf depend on lip reading to understand another person. In the video above, I tested out a mask with a clear plastic hole around the mouth for easy viewing of the lips, only to find that the clear plastic easily fogs up. After posting this video to my personal Facebook account with an inquiry about what to do, many responded with great answers. Some shared that a drop of dish soap would help, others said I would need to go to the scuba store to buy defogger used for scuba goggles, other said try some Rain-X. All of these were great suggestions and I did want to try all of them, but cost and toxicity forced me to try the dish soap first. I decided to grab a tiny bit of liquid soap, a tissue, and smear it across the inside of the clear plastic. It worked! The mask did not fog up, and my lips could easily be seen moving without the mask fogging up. Check out the video below to see the positive results. (I moved the camera around a bit so you can see the mask from all angles.)

   


Face Shields To Protect Eyes

Face shields are great, but I had lots of questions. Will they protect others from contracting COVID-19 from the nose and mouth? Will they protect your eyes?  I saw people wearing them, and thought maybe this could be a good solution for the communication barrier issue, but quickly concluded that there was not enough coverage around the mouth and nose. Water vapor, released from the mouth and nose, will get into the air on all four sides of the face shield. However, the shield is great for eye protection, preventing COVID-19-laced droplets from entering your eyes. If you have trouble blinking, or an inability to close your eyes, I would definitely consider either some protective eyewear or a face shield. 

All of that said, please let me repeat, the face shield does not provide adequate coverage for the mouth and nose. Please follow the Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization recommendations for proper coverage of the mouth and nose on this great website. Around your mouth and nose, your best bet for protection is a mask with a clear plastic front. Make sure the fabric around it is tight around the face. 

You can watch my short video demonstrating eye shields below.




Where Do I Purchase A Clear Front Face Mask or Face Shield? 

In conclusion, please stay safe and follow the recommended guidelines put forth by the CDC and WHO. If you are out in public for long periods of time, I would highly recommend the use of a mask with a clear plastic window. Masks like this one will even benefit those that are able to hear, as many people lip read without even realizing it! Clear masks can be purchased from a variety of vendors. The one I demonstrated in the video is from Chic Me. Sadly, these did not fasten with ties around the head. They anchor to the ears. Another great place to purchase is from Rafi Nova, which has kids' sized masks. Rafi Nova sells masks that tie around the head or fasten around the ears. 

Face shields are important, too, especially if your child has any kind of differences around their eyes. I really love the Instashield demonstrated in the second video. It's lightweight, attaches to your favorite ball cap, and is made in the United States. Your kids will love it because they can wear their favorite team's hat while staying safe. 

We have to do whatever it takes to stay safe. I hope these tips help as we move forward into the fall and winter months.  

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

CCA Stands Against Bullying In Latest TikTok Trend #NewTeacherChallenge

It seems like there is no end to the ways that people can choose to be hurtful and bully others online. This week, we’ve learned about the disturbing new trend called the “New Teacher Challenge” on TikTok. Two activists, Lizzie Velasquez and Alyce Chan, have addressed this terrible challenge and the ways it hurts those with facial differences. 

Lizzie Velasquez

We do not want to belabor the points made by Lizzie and Alyce, nor take away from the things that have been so eloquently said, but we do want to clearly state that this type of behavior is wrong. It’s cruel. What makes it even more terrible is that parents are making this joke to their children, thus passing along the idea that this type of humor is acceptable and encouraged. 


We hope you will take heart, that even though the online bullying continues, there are people taking a stand. CCA continues to report these accounts each time we find them and we will continue to press the marketing team at the TikTok app to remove content that bullies and discriminates. 


Our goal is to make the world an accepting place for all, but especially those with facial differences. While it may seem impossible, if we want bullying to end, we have to take action. The world needs inclusion and empathy, now more than ever, and there is no one better than us to carry out the mission of acceptance. Stay strong as we lead the #ChooseKind movement and help others realize that #DifferentIsCool.


Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Chicks 4 Charity Host Online Fundraiser with Boon Supply

chicks logo


 Woman's Life Insurance Society Chapter 827 Chicks 4 Charity will be raising money this September for Children's Craniofacial Association. Their mission is to empower and give hope to individuals and families affected by facial differences. 

Woman's Life Insurance Society will match the first $500 raised and Chicks 4 Charity will match the next $500 raised.

You can participate in our Shop for a Cause with Boon Supply...


Support our fundraiser by shopping at Boon Supply! https://www.boonsupply.com/1095494

Chicks 4 Charity receives 40% of purchases made.  Goal is $5,000 in purchases.  They have a wonderful array of bags, accessories, kitchen/food items, gift ideas and more.  It is a wonderful way to shop for birthdays, the upcoming holidays, back to school, work  etc.  Whether school or work is in person, or virtual, they have something for everyone.  Shopping for this event occurs from August 12 through September 30, 2020.  Shop early and often.



Thank you so much to Sue Giles, and her friends at the  Woman's Life Insurance Society Chapter 827, for dedicating their fundraising efforts to CCA Kids!

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Watch David Roche Conduct A Weekly August Storytelling Workshop Every Tuesday



Join us every Tuesday evening during the month of August for a storytelling series at 6pm CST (7pm ET, 4pm PT). Watch how 5 speakers transform and build on their story telling techniques over the course of a month.

We invite you to be part of our audience to experience the stories our storytellers will tell and learn from the techniques our mentors will share. This is a unique format that will allow you to learn from the presentations, and submit feedback through chat during the event.