Image credit: Loud Shirt Day
Get loud and proud for this years Can:Do 4 Kids Loud Shirt Day and help raise vital funds for children who are deaf or hard of hearing.
The challenge of wearing your loudest shirt to support deaf children, be it bright, patterned or humorous, has already gained momentum across Adelaide organisations ahead of the Friday October 22 date.
The popular national campaign, which started in Adelaide, encourages Australians to be loud through wearing a colourful and patterned t-shirt to raise necessary funds for children hard of hearing and their families.
Drakes Supermarkets, artist Tiff Manuell, and bus and tram drivers will be among those getting loud, but this year’s official ambassador is Megan Marotti, 36, who is the Can:Do Group’s Client Services Development Officer.
Megan’s connection with Townsend House has gone full circle. As a three-year-old, she arrived at Townsend House (now known as Can:Do 4 Kids) with about 20 per cent hearing in each ear.
As an adult, she not only works for the Can:Do Group, but is also mother to Liam, 1. Liam is a client of Can:Do 4 Kids who also has bilateral hearing loss.
To be named ambassador is something very special to her heart – tied in with her work, her life and motherhood.
“Loud Shirt Day is really important to our family because it’s not only about raising awareness for Liam; there are just so many other kids out there who need that support,” says Megan.
“When I was young, I was given hearing aids and had extensive speech therapy and that was so successful, I was able to go to mainstream school which opened so many opportunities. Loud Shirt Day is the best time to help give them the opportunities that every other kid has.”
Megan’s own hearing loss was attributed to the fact she was a twin, and the shock of her son also being deaf was helped by the efforts of Can:Do 4Kids. Liam has so far been able to access sessions with a speech therapist, who uses play-based methods to interact with him.
“I never knew that my child could receive a similar diagnosis as me, so it was quite confronting,” says Megan.
“But having experienced what Can:Do 4Kids was like personally, I knew that he was going to get the support that he needed which was very reassuring.”
Loud Shirt Day is being supported by Drakes Supermarkets, where staff in all 41 stores will wear loud shirts on the day, and $2 tokens can be purchased by the public between October 13 and November 9.
Store managers will be challenged by their teams to wear a loud outfit of the team’s choice if they can fundraise a certain amount of money in their store. Drakes have their own Loud Shirt Day ambassadors in employee Brooke 26 and her daughter Ayla 2, who accesses services at Can:Do 4Kids.
Popular artist Tiff Manuell will create a canvas inspired by Megan and Liam to be raffled off on her website to support of Can:Do 4Kids.
Drivers at Torrens Transit and Torrens Connect, which operate Adelaide Metro bus and tram services, will wear loud shirts and their General Managers will be pitted in a ‘bus versus tram’ battle.
Other organisations and groups contributing to this year’s efforts include Bank SA, Fresh FM, Colonnades Walking Group, and the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra (ASO), who are continuing their partnership with Can:Do 4Kids.
In 2021 musicians will be doing a relaxed performance on the day wearing their loud shirts, allowing children from Can:Do 4Kids’ Listening and Spoken Language program to watch.
Can:Do 4Kids (Townsend House) is South Australia’s oldest charity and provides early intervention services that give deaf children the listening and spoken language skills they need to achieve mainstream education, employment of choice and social integration in the hearing world.
The money raised from Loud Shirt Day will fund the Listening and Spoken Language service provided by Can:Do 4Kids, ensuring no deaf child is left behind.