BIALA has initiated three new programs that address fundamental needs for survivors, and enhance public awareness of brain and spinal cord injuries:
- Sports/Recreation Partnership: BIALA has formalized a partnership with the New Orleans based BISCIS League (Brain Injury Spinal Cord Injury Sports), and with the Baton Rouge based Cajun Crushers. These leagues operate entirely with volunteer help, with no formal means of financial support. BISCIS is led by a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist who volunteers her time generously to individuals with either brain or spinal cord injuries who wish to play baseball and to bowl. They need to replace old equipment for about 35-40 adults. Cajun Crushers, is led by a volunteer Support Group leader and volunteer coaches, who help train spinal cord injury survivors throughout the year who train for the annual Endeavor Games in Oklahoma. Cajun Crushers and their volunteers are challenged to raise their own funds for travel and lodging expenses to attend the Endeavor Games. These leagues struggle for basic necessities to stay fit and to have the sports/recreational opportunities that many people take for granted. Please help them today with a donation – select “other” and note in special instructions section that your support goes to the Sports/Recreation Partnership: http://www.biala.org/donate-biala
- Peer Mentoring: BIALA is collaborating with hospitals and rehabilitation facilities around the state offering to pair individually chosen peer mentors, who are given professional training, to mentor patients and/or their caregivers. This program impacts many lives in different ways, but its most important influence is the unparalleled first-hand knowledge and guidance that newly injured individuals or caregivers are able to receive from their peer mentors. Since its inception in February 2017, BIALA now has 13 peer mentors, and is looking to expand as the need arises. To apply as a Peer Mentor, contact Kimberly Hill at Kim@biala.org
- Unmasking Brain Injury Initiative: This art-based public awareness campaign helps spread awareness and education about brain injuries around the country and worldwide. BIALA is the project partner for this initiative for the state of Louisiana. The project’s objective is to offer brain injury survivors the opportunity to express their emotions dealing with their brain injury through the creation of their own paper mache mask. BIALA will create opportunities for this display of masks to travel across the state and raise awareness about brain injuries. To get involved in this initiative, contact Kimberly Hill at Kim@biala.org.