Two Oklahoma nonprofits have been named recipients of grants through the annual Chick-fil-A® True Inspiration Awards® program. Hearts for Hearing is being awarded $200,000 and Infant Crisis Services will receive $50,000. Grants are awarded each year from Chick-fil-A to organizations working to better their communities. Oklahoma City is the only metro area with two recipients this year.
Hearts for Hearing teaches babies born deaf to listen and talk by providing the first set of hearing technology to children with hearing loss across Oklahoma at no cost to families. Research indicates that ages 0-3 are critical for auditory and language development; therefore, Hearts for Hearing covers all out-of-pocket expenses for families of children with hearing loss aged three and under in addition to the first set of hearing technology. After age three, Hearts for Hearing offers financial assistance for audiology and specialized speech therapy services. The Adult Clinic at Hearts for Hearing provides high-quality hearing care to adults and seniors who wish to hear better – or hear again. A portion of proceeds from the adult clinic helps off-set the cost of the services and technology provided to babies and children who receive care at Hearts for Hearing.
“This generous gift from Chick-fil-A allows our organization to expand our Newborn Hearing Screen servicesand grow the number of children receiving their first set of hearing technology and speech therapy services,” says Founder and CEO Joanna T. Smith, “which Is a game-changer for the families we serve.“ Smith continued, “Our research – and that of other experts – strongly Indicate the earlier a child with hearing loss Is diagnosed and receives hearing technology and therapy services, the better the outcome. Our goal Is for a child born deaf to enter school-age listening and talking at the same level as their typical hearing peers.”
Infant Crisis Services exists to ensure that no baby goes hungry. Four times per year, babies and toddlers under 4years old can visit Infant Crisis Services to receive a week’s worth of formula, food, diapers, and other life sustaining necessities. Statistically, 1 in 4 babies born in Oklahoma will be born into poverty, putting them at risk of malnutrition. With 80% of brain development happening in the first three years of life, even one missed meal can have detrimental impacts on a baby’s physical and cognitive growth. Infant Crisis Services has ensured full bellies and dry diapers for over 350,000 infants and toddlers since 1984. Clients can receive services at their office in Oklahoma City, or at any of the 54 partner locations across 23 Oklahoma counties their BabyMobile program serves.
“Infant Crisis Services is humbled to be a recipient of such vital funding from Chick-fil-A,” says Co-Founder and Executive Director Miki Farris. Farris proceeded, “By supporting our unique BabyMobile program, Chick-fil-A will play a major role in ensuring that our state’s rural communities have access to life-sustaining formula and diapers. The tiniest victims of poverty now have a chance to thrive, and their caregivers can rest easy, knowing that their little ones will be fed and diapered.”
Hearts for Hearing and Infant Crisis Services are two of 46 True Inspiration Awards grant recipients in 2023 that are receiving a collective $5 million. To be selected for a grant, organizations must work to address key issues that align with Chick-fil-A’s corporate social responsibility priorities: Caring for People, Caring for Others through Food, Caring for our Communities and Caring for our Planet, a new category added this year.
The True Inspiration Awards were established in 2015 to carry on Chick-fil-A Founder S. Truett Cathy’s legacy of generosity and community service. Since that time, 250 grants have been distributed to organizations located across 36 states, Washington, D.C., and Canada, impacting more than 3.5 million people. Individual grants range from $30,000 to $350,000.
“Through our True Inspiration Awards grant program, Chick-fil-A helps empower local nonprofits that are leading positive change and creating tangible impact throughout the communities they serve,” said Brent Fielder, senior director of corporate social responsibility for Chick-fil-A, Inc. “This year, we added a new grant category – Caring for our Planet – to help support additional nonprofits that act as good stewards of the planet we share. It is our pleasure to invest in the growth and legacy of all our 2023 recipient organizations throughout the U.S. and Canada.”
To learn more about the Chick-fil-A True Inspiration Awards program, visit chickfila.com/true-inspiration-awards.
About Hearts for Hearing
A comprehensive hearing health clinic for both children and adults with offices in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and Shawnee. It was founded by Joanna T. Smith, Dr. Teresa Caraway, and Dr. Stan Baker as a 501(c)3 to provide funding for the first set of hearing aids for children with hearing loss in Oklahoma. Its mission expanded to become a comprehensive hearing health clinic that provides industry leading clinical, technology, and research services. Its collaborative model of audiologists and speech-language pathologists working together enables the best outcomes for its patients.
Learn more at www.heartsforhearing.org.
About Infant Crisis Services
Infant Crisis Services provides life-sustaining food, formula, and diapers to babies and toddlers in times of crisis… because no baby should go hungry. Co-founded by Miki Farris in 1984, Infant Crisis Services is the only formula and diaper bank of its kind in the Oklahoma City metro area, and its BabyMobile program expands the mission into 23 different counties across the state.
Learn more at www.infantcrisis.org
About Chick-fil-A, Inc.
Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A, Inc. is a restaurant company known for the Original Chick-fil-A® Chicken Sandwich and signature hospitality. Represented by more than 190,000 Team Members, Operators and Staff, Chick-fil-A® restaurants serve guests freshly prepared food at more than 2,800 restaurants in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada. The family-owned and privately held restaurant company was founded in 1967 by S. Truett Cathy and is committed to serving the local communities in which its franchised restaurants operate.
Known for its leadership and growth opportunities, in 2022 Chick-fil-A was named a Best Employer in America by Forbes and a top company for career opportunities for Black employees by Glassdoor. The company was also awarded the Employee’s Choice by Glassdoor honoring top CEOs and was named a Culture 500 Culture Champion in 2020. A leader in customer service, Chick-fil-A was named QSR magazine’s Drive-Thru Restaurant of the Year in 2021. More information on Chick-fil-A is available at www.chick-fil-a.com and @ChickfilANews.
Hearts for Hearing was founded in 2003 with a mission of providing hearing technology and speech therapy services at no out-of-pocket costs to families with children who were born deaf. 20 years later, we are still teaching babies and children born deaf to listen and talk. Our services have expanded to include adult hearing care with offices in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and Shawnee. Our team of professionals has grown from our original three people to 117 now. Hearts for Hearing continues to provide the first set of hearing technology and therapy to children at no out-of-pocket costs to families, and now includes Newborn Hearing Screen services, major research initiatives, Eyes Open Ears On programming, and its own 3D ear mold lab.