In my own little world, I confess that I get unconsciously annoyed when I hear people nagging each other, gossiping about people talking like hypocrites or hear negative conversations that can ruin my mood. Often times, I hear loud music from the neighborhood on a quiet evening in my room. There are certain things I don’t want to hear but I hear them because of my ears. Even if I try to ignore, I can’t help but hear disturbing noises around the neighborhood. I try to stuck earplugs, but noise continues to linger.
Last weekend, my attitude towards hearing unnecessary noises suddenly and slightly changed. I was invited to Krispy Kreme’s ‘Share the Gift of Joy through Read Along Program’ at their Ayala Avenue, Makati City branch. At this event, I had the opportunity to meet special kids, deaf kids to be specific.
Krispy Kreme launched the Share the Gift of Joy campaign wherein they support 12 partner charities which care for the environment, creativity, lives, our animal friends and of course my favorite, Kids! I am fortunate to experience this Read Along Program by Development and Accessibility Fund for the Deaf (DeAF Deaf) and Support and Empower Abused Deaf Children, Inc. (SEADC). 
As a person with the ability to hear, I can easily order food I desire to eat. In Krispy Kreme, I can order this box of assorted Mickey Mouse donuts anytime without doing any actions. I can simply speak and tell the crew which flavors I like to be included in the box.
To describe how sweet, tasty and delectable Krispy Kreme donuts are, I just have to speak my mind to my family friends. My speaking voice is enough for people to understand.
On the other hand, not all people are fortunate to have the speaking voice and hearing ears. Just like the deaf kids I met, they couldn’t understand the words I will say. They can only understand the actions and sign languages I’ll be doing. To communicate with deaf kids is way too different from communicating with hearing people.
The Read Along Program is a way to uplift our deaf friends and give them the chance to be heard here in our beloved country. Partnership of DeAF Deaf and Krispy Kreme set to not only spread joy, but induce change.
In this program, deaf kids will be taught how to read and improve their vocabularies, while hearing parents and peers will be shown their learning process and will be given tips on how to properly teach them.
Last Saturday, the Deaf kids together with us, hearing participants, read a book together. We all read The Flower Who Did Not Know God Was Protecting Her, written by DLS-CSB Filipino Sign Language student Happy Ruth Pamintuan. Deaf adults facilitate because they are more effective than hearing adults in teaching. Deaf kids lose their focus easily. What’s good about letting deaf adults take charge of the story telling is that they know how to easily get the attention of deaf kids.
After reading, a game called act-the-story was facilitated to challenge the comprehension of the Deaf kids. Also, part of the game was a basic sign language lesson to teach the hearing participants the three-dimensional language of signing to better communicate with the Deaf kids.
The whole time I was smiling as I see the Deaf kids smile and laugh during the event.
The part where we were taught basic sign languages was the highlight of my afternoon. Learning something new is always thrilling for me. I learned simple gestures in saying “Good Morning!” “Good Afternoon” “You’re funny” “Old man” “Young boy” “I like…” “I love…” and more. We sang ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, “Happy Birthday song” and also learned how to order describe food in Krispy Kreme.
Since Krispy Kreme will be the first Deaf-friendly restaurant, the crew are being trained in understanding the deaf in case they’ll be ordering food from Krispy Kreme. So far, Ayala branch is the first branch, the pioneer branch for this program.
One of my takeaways from that afternoon is the importance of communication. Emotions should always match with your words. Saying ‘I love you’ when you are angry, sad, bored and happy all differ from each other. For the deaf, your sign languages are not clear when your facial expressions or emotions say a different language. Both should be in sync with one another for the deaf to fully understand and comprehend your message to them.
There is no reason to be unappreciative of how God made us. This event enlightened me, opened my eyes even more to see what’s outside my comfort zone. It touched my heart to be more responsible and sensitive to all kinds of people, especially to deaf people. Before, I get easily annoyed if I don’t like what I hear. Now, I praise God He gave me complete body parts, all functioning well. I praise Him that I can clearly hear all kinds of music and noise around me. Music is one thing I can’t live without. I am grateful I can pamper my ears by listening to sweet-sounding music.
Share the gift of Joy by buying Krispy Kreme tin containers in any Krispy Kreme branch. Krispy Kreme sets aside Php20 and gives it Development and Accessibility Fund for the Deaf Inc., one of the 12 NGO (non-goverment organization) partners of Krispy Kreme. This is one way of showing your love to the deaf kids.
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Pray, Eat and Love.
The Food Scout