Braille Monitor                                     March 2017

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Community Service Division Works with Habitat for Humanity

by Darian Smith

From the Editor: Darian Smith is the president of the National Federation of the Blind Community Service Division. The purpose of the division is to show that blind people are more than takers and that real integration means taking our place as responsible givers. Here is one example of the way the division put this philosophy into action in 2016 as related by Darian:

Earlier this month Habitat for Humanity of Greater Orlando asked our Community Service Division to work with them to contribute an article for its October newsletter. The newsletter is a paper publication, but I was able to work with their Marketing and Communications Manager to get a text copy of the article which is included below.

Building without Boundaries

Earlier this summer the National Federation of the Blind joined us on our build site for a day of volunteering. It was just like any other morning on our build site with our construction team working beside volunteers and ready to assist whenever needed. We welcome all volunteers with open arms and hearts, and this group truly proved that their blindness did not limit their ability to lend a hand and help build homes, communities, and hope.

Our task for the day was hanging drywall, which requires strong communication and a lot of teamwork. The group jumped right in, and with some minor modifications, such as using black markers to indicate where to put screws and creating small divots to be used for drills, they got all of the sheets hung! For most of the volunteers, it was their first time working with a power tool.

“Once we arrived, we—like any other group—were a little nervous, not knowing just what the work would entail. Once we learned the type of work we would be doing and just how to do it, we soon found it to be second nature,” said Darian Smith, president of the National Federation of the Blind Community Service Division.

The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the characteristic that defines a blind person or his or her future and that all blind people can live the lives they want. By joining with one another on service projects, the Community Service Division aims to use service as a means to show that the blind have the talent and desire to better the world we live in. Through engaging in collective action, they are able to improve the lives of blind people all across the country, with love, hope, and determination. Every day, they transform dreams into reality.

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