The Cambridge Quota club in Maryland, U.S.A., constantly aims for the most effective ways to help their community in Quota’s main service areas—assisting hearing-impaired people and disadvantaged women and children. From hearing screenings, hearing ear dogs, and signing classes to financial support and scholarships, this club exemplifies the We Share Foundation’s Volunteers in Action program.
Each month, the Cambridge Quota club provides free hearing screenings for local residents. By collaborating with well-known local businesses with high traffic volume, the club raises awareness of hearing health and reaches people who otherwise might not have their hearing checked.
The club bought the audiometer, and members take turns volunteering to use it in these preliminary hearing screenings. When hearing loss is suspected, the club refers clients to a professional audiologist for thorough testing and offers information on financial assistance for medical services and hearing aids, which are available to qualified applicants through the Cambridge Quota club
Hearing Ear Dogs
In 2002, the Cambridge Quota club began sponsoring “Hearing Ear Dogs” for hearing-impaired local residents. Similar to a “seeing eye dog,” these canines increase a deaf person’s safety by alerting them to signals they cannot hear—alarms, bells, door knocks, and car horns, for example.
The Quota club sponsors one to two years of required training for each dog and master team. Chesapeake Hearing Ear Canines runs the program, using even-tempered dogs that are selected from local animal shelters.
Sign Language Classes
In 2003, the Cambridge club implemented an American Sign Language class for local educators whose students have hearing impairment and other special needs. A local school provided classroom space for the weekly sessions taught silently in sign to 17 people, including county teachers and a local police officer. The Quota club paid the instructor’s fee and provided the textbooks.
Cost to the club: U.S.$1,700.
Benefit to the community: priceless.
The club then provided an advanced course for this group and held other beginner courses in other locations in Dorchester County. In addition, the club launched a similar class in an adjacent county through that area’s Department of Recreation.
The Cambridge Quota club has long offered scholarships to local college students and post-graduate students pursuing careers in the field of speech and hearing. Two recent recipients from Towson State University in Maryland study speech pathology and volunteer to help the club with their free hearing screenings. Each student received a U.S. $1,000 award from the club.
To help families in need, the club funds school supply closets in all Dorchester County elementary and middle schools and recently held a book drive that amassed some U.S.$1,800 worth of children’s books for local shelters. The club also responds to miscellaneous requests from agencies and community members throughout the year.
Service Attracts New Members
Quota Cares Month activities help the club recruit new members—almost effortlessly! In 2003, the Cambridge club added 11 new members who read about club service in local papers and wanted to be included. In 2004, during a reading initiative created for Quota Cares Month, teachers and school administrators in participating schools became club members, while two local residents who called to donate items for the book drive were recruited by the member who took the calls.
Cambridge club leaders say publicity surrounding their community service makes recruitment easier, because potential members are already familiar with Quota’s service goals. New members generate excitement and provide more helping hands for service and fun—leading to member retention as well.
The result: a healthy club, 84 members strong, in the relatively small community on Maryland’s Eastern Shore that exemplifies Quota Volunteers in Action.