by Patti Chang
From the Editor: What we do takes teamwork, spirit, commitment, and money. Of the four ingredients necessary for success, money is often the most overlooked, but without money, we simply don’t have the tools to do what needs doing for blind people. In this article, Patti Chang explains how you can help. Here is what she says:
Thanks to you, the National Federation of the Blind has a tremendous impact on the lives of blind people of all ages. We foster high expectations and mentor each other, teach children to read Braille, and provide crucial resources to parents of blind children. Nearly every day we receive notes from long-time Federationists and people new to our organization to share the impact that the NFB has had on their lives and their family. We hope that these stories—and your own experience—motivate you to give back to help us continue to share the gifts of confidence, literacy, education, independence, and so much more.
We recently received this note from a mother whose daughter attends the NFB BELL Academy in Indiana:
I am writing to you to express my thanks for what the NFB BELL Academy has done for my daughter, who became blind from retinoblastoma when she was just three years old. Having no previous experience with blindness, my husband and I had no clue on how to raise a blind child. We saw the potential in our daughter to be a happy and productive human being even without her eyesight, but would others see the same?
Through the grace of God, we came in contact with the NFB and other blind adults who have become wonderful mentors and role models. These people have come alongside her and shown her that anything is possible if she only believes in herself. This past summer was her third year at the Indiana BELL Academy, something that she has grown to look forward to each year. Whether it be reading or writing Braille, beep ball, field trips, or crafts, she has enjoyed it all.
The NFB Indiana BELL Academy has given our daughter the confidence to live as a blind child in a sighted world. It has given her the ability to attend school with her sighted peers, being the first blind child to do so in our school district. And, in my opinion, she has been a wonderful example of showing her friends and teachers exactly what a blind child is capable of. She is not afraid to try anything, and currently has straight A’s in all of her school subjects.I truly believe that the NFB BELL Academy, along with her teachers and role models, has had a direct effect on her confidence and ability to succeed, not only in the classroom, but throughout life. As a parent, I can’t wait to see what the future holds for her! Thank you again for the NFB BELL Academy and what it does for our blind children!
Want to help more families like this one? You can make a difference.
With a $50 donation, the National Federation of the Blind can send a long white cane—free of charge—to a blind person and give back mobility. With the same amount the Federation can provide early literacy materials to help parents and blind children start learning Braille together. With a larger donation we can train our BELL Academy teachers, show blind students that they can participate in science and engineering lessons, and so much more. Be a part of this future and everything the Federation does with love, hope, and determination.
We can’t change lives without you. Please help by making an end-of-year gift. It’s easy to do.
We all know that the Federation affects blind people’s lives every day. Please be a part of our movement with an end-of-year donation. It will be sincerely appreciated.
Please feel free to reach out to Patti Chang at 410-659-9314, extension 2422 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. Thank you so much in advance for again helping blind people live the lives we want.