Imagine waking up after a power nap at the end of a long work day. Yet, today is different. Today, when you open your eyes, there is no light. There is no sight. There is only darkness. Complete, utter darkness.
Only hours before, you had been able to see perfectly. Without flaw. But now, for some reason, everything has changed. Your gift of vision has been confiscated – never to return again.
No explanation offered. No solution rendered. Just darkness invasion – pouring into every facet of your life. For the rest of your life. Darkness.
Imagine being a fifteen year girl, excitedly expectant about living out the dreams of teen years and adulthood.
A girl who is already a bit shy and reserved, but finds her safe haven surrounded by her favorite books.
And suddenly, without warning of its dreadful presence, disease enters and exits. Ever so quietly. The only sign of this cruel intruder is the unwanted souvenir that it left for its latest victim. Darkness. Complete, utter darkness. For this beautiful, fifteen year old girl who lives in fantasy of the future and in the safety of her favorite novel characters, life has forever changed. Sight will never come again. The beauty of all the colors that she once loved are now memorialized into the treasure chest of her heart and mind.
All that remains now is darkness.
Complete, utter darkness.
And all of the unfulfilled hopes and dreams that now have to be rekindled in a new way where sight isn’t a prerequisite.
These are only a few of the personal accounts of the clients that have been served at The Blind Center of Washington, NC. Yet, these stories are the heart-beat of our mission. They are the driving force for why we are passionate about not only advocating for the blind and visually impaired, but also for providing the avenue for independence and a thriving life in darkness.
Thirty-five years ago, Mrs. Nancy Boyd, the Social Worker for the Blind in Beaufort County, NC recognized the need that individuals who are impacted by blindness are in need of a support system, as well as a Center to assist them in everyday tasks. With the support of family, friends, the Washington community and the Lion’s Club, The Blind Center was established!
To this day, it the only Center available in Eastern North Carolina that serves the blind and low-vision community through education, health and wellness, independent living skills, assistive technology, crafting, chair caning and basket-weaving, recreation and personal goals!
Recognizing that there are currently over 200,000 individuals currently identified as blind in the state of North Carolina alone, we are seeking to expand our services, to improve our assistive technology computer resource room and to serve as an advocate for those in need of assistance.
Although the clients that we serve has lost their sight, it is our goal to ensure that they do not lose their Hope! Therefore, we will soon be launching our newest initiative, the Fight for Sight Campaign! This curriculum will encompass four specific components: Health and Wellness, Independent Living Skills, Assistive Technology Training and Personal Goal Setting, with an emphasis placed on individualized action plans for each module for the clients that we serve. Through this year long curriculum of goal setting and measurement, the clients will not only Fight for their Sight… but they will also Fight for their Hope… and ultimately, Fight for their Lives!
We invite you to join us for our greatest fundraiser of the year where you can personally meet the clients that we serve, hear their stories and learn about the strategic plans that we are implementing at The Blind Center to expand our services. In addition, you will enjoy a cash bar, delicious dinner, and a silent and live auction!
One of my favorite quotes from Helen Keller is, “The only thing worse than being blind is having no vision.”
Vision is a gift. It’s not only the ability to see the present. It is also the ability to see and plan for the future. It’s the ability to hear the hearts of the community, to sense the needs that have been unmet.
It’s the passion and intense motivation to advocate for those who do not have the voice, for those who are navigating life in darkness, and being willing to chase down the Light so that we can bring Hope to the very ones who need it most.