Reach Child and Youth Development Society is asking Deltans to help give the Gift of Speech this holiday season.
The society’s annual Gift of Speech campaign is an awareness and fundraising initiative to help children with complex needs receive early intervention speech therapy when it will have the greatest impact.
“Speech therapy enables children to speak so that others will understand what they are saying,” Reach Society said in a press release. “[It] prepares them for school so that they can keep up with other children in learning, and improves communication so that they can express their thoughts and feelings to their families.”
Reach kicked off the campaign on Giving Tuesday (Nov. 29) with the aim of removing 54 children from its speech therapy waitlist. A gift of $50 will allow one child to receive a speech therapy session, and 10 sessions are enough to make a meaningful difference to a family.
Warner Bros. Discovery and the locally-shot TV show Superman & Lois helped kick of the giving with a gift of funded speech therapy for 10 children. As well, Superman & Lois cast members Alex Garfin (Jordan Kent), Michael Bishop (Jon Kent) and Erik Valdez (Kyle Cushing) appear in a launch video urging donors to be real-life superheroes by providing speech therapy to children with developmental needs.
In the video, released to coincide with Giving Tuesday, Garfin shares how he personally benefited from speech therapy.
“What a lot of people don’t know is that as a child I had a frontal lisp, and being a child actor it was a hindrance on my life and at times it was quite difficult. I was lucky enough to go to speech therapy and was given the tools to overcome my lisp on my own,” Garfin says. “I know firsthand how much it can mean to overcome a speech impediment, whether it’s just a little lisp or something more severe. It could help you walk the road to your dreams.
“So, when I found out about the Reach Child and Youth Development Gift of Speech program, I knew I wanted to be involved because they not only fund speech therapy for children but they also give them means to communicate with their families.”
Envision Financial Ladner also helped kick off this year’s campaign by providing a $1,000 match for donations made in-branch on Giving Tuesday, raising enough to fund four children to receive 10 sessions each.
For more on the 2022 Gift of Speech campaign or to make a donation, visit canadahelps.org/en/charities/reach-society/campaign/2022-gift-of-speech.
Reach Child and Youth Development Society is a non-profit charitable society that has been providing services to children and their families since 1959. Reach currently provides programs and services to over 1,000 children and their families in Delta, Surrey and Langley every year. Visit them at reachdevelopment.org.