Crossing the Communication Barrier

For the past two years, the staff at the KARM Stores location onHall of Fame Drive has had the privilege of working with a group of volunteers from Tennessee School for the Deaf. When this partnership started, there were some concerns on our part: How would we communicate with them? What can they do? Do we really need them every week?

A Rocky Start

The first year was tough. We did our best to communicate, but it was frustrating for both groups. We learned a few things in the process. The second year began with a positive outlook. In trying to overcome the communication barrier, the KARM Stores team realized the problem wasn’t in the students’ inability to hear, but our inability to communicate in a way that worked for them.

Jerry Saves the Day

God solved the problem when Jerry joined the team. He had experience in sign language. Soon, a great working relationship developed between the two groups. Some students began volunteering as individuals at other KARM Stores. Over the school year, these students donated over 500 volunteer hours.

Because of volunteers like the students from Tennessee School for the Deaf, KARM Stores helps fund the work that happens downtown at KARM.  Volunteers play a vital role in providing Every Person. Every Meal. Every Day. through Knox Area Rescue Ministries.

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