As I have stated before, I am an American Sign Language interpreter. As such I am involved in the Deaf community outside of work, too. Recently, I was approached about a fundraiser for KODA camp.
KODA means Kids of Deaf Adults. It is also commonly referred to as CODA – Children of Deaf Adults. And the camp is a place for hearing kids with deaf parents to get together with other kids like them for a time of real bonding, and fun! They learn about Deaf Culture, they are taught the rules of ASL (American Sign Language), and they get to participate in KODAtalk – a discussion where KODAs share their life experiences with deaf parents. This promotes the feeling of belonging and continue involvement with the deaf community once the child leaves their parents’ nests as well as to be aware of the network in this big wide world.
How many of you cruisers and wanna-be cruisers have friends or family or coworkers, etc that have listened to you, your hopes, dreams and been met with the landlubber-confusion face? You know, that expression that says, “I don’t get it.” 0r “You’re weird.” or “You’re crazy.” ? Or maybe they are wonderfully supportive of your goal, but it’s still hard to talk about it sometimes because they aren’t boat or water people and don’t understand what you’re talking about! So you run to your cruiser friends where you’re understood and accepted. Here you share a culture and speak your own language, right!?
This is the way of cultures and communities all over – and the Deaf community is no different. It’s not easy being a kid. And when you have big differences in your family unit, it can be hard to identify with your peers. While we strive to celebrate our differences, sometimes you still want to truly be able to relate. Yup! That’s why even cruisers flock together!
So anyway! I was approached about donating to a fundraiser that raises money for scholarships to send kids to this camp. My donation? A day or an evening of sail on Wind Affair.
It was supposed to go on the table for the Silent Auction, but word got around in the community that this was being offered and apparently it gained quite a bit of interest. So much so, that it was moved to the Live Auction portion of the event. I don’t know how much we generated for the cause, but I am told that the event raised over $7,000 in total. I am happy that we were able to contribute. We will add a post this summer when we take the lucky winners out on the water! !