12 Days of Tap 2019: Day 2
Volunteering with TAP
– Anna Bess Brown and Eric Hale –
I was moved to volunteer with TAP when I learned about aphasia through my work with the Stroke Advisory Council and Justus-Warren Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Task Force.
I attend the WakeMed group and book club and am inspired to see the participants support one another as they get better and better. I am amazed watching Lina and Heather teach. I feel privileged to be part of the journey of folks who are living with aphasia. In fact, I love it so much that I convinced my husband Eric to volunteer also. Eric and I appreciate TAP because it is a needed service that supports people as they work to understand how aphasia affects them and to communicate.
From Eric Hale:
I work for Principled Technologies, which has a wonderful sabbatical program that allows us to give a dedicated week to the charity of our choice. When my sabbatical was coming up, Anna Bess asked if I would consider volunteering at TAP. I am so glad I did!
I have no skills for dealing with people with aphasia. However, I do know my way around a database and that was useful. I spent my time figuring out how to generate reports for TAP’s donors that their database was not generating in a reasonable way. In the week I was there, we were to figure out three of them.
I was not sure what to expect when I showed up. However, as I say in the video, there was so much joy and laughter. I am a singer, and the singing made a big impact on me.
Aphasia still scares me, but I have seen how people can get through it. TAP provides a wonderful service and really opened my eyes.
From the TAP Home Office:
Like many nonprofits, TAP Unlimited could not do its work without the generous donation of time, talent and passion by volunteers. Today’s 12 Days of TAP story comes to us from two volunteers that got to us via different routes, but have both been changed by the work that TAP does for the aphasia community.
Anna Bess Brown understood the etiology of aphasia, well versed in stroke and rehabilitation/recovery. So it wasn’t a surprise to hear that after one day of sitting in at the WakeMed group…she was hooked!
Her husband, Eric Hale, however, is a brilliant techie with little to no initial understanding of aphasia. He appreciated our needs for database work, but was reticent about getting involved in this mysterious communication disorder. As you will see, however, from the video created by Eric’s company, Principled Technology, he heard the laughter and was moved by the engagement of the TAP client groups.