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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Eye Diseases, Blindness & Vision Impairments, Health

Mission: To promote health and wellness and provide an educational institute to advance the social well being of the visually impaired individual

Programs: A sighless chef culiary program with whole foods inc. To teach and inspire the visually impaired

a blind shot program - a golf based program to help promote fitness and social intigration among the visually impaired

to socially integrate the visually impaired in activites normally for sighted individuals.

Community Stories

11 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've never seen so much power in an organization. They literally take people from complete isolation and illuminate their lives.

Board Member

Rating: 5

As an ophthalmologist, my life and career have been dedicated to the preservation of sight. I care for patients and their families in good times and also during times of tragedy. I have witnessed first-hand the devastation caused by the loss of vision. In the past, when patients left my office I found myself wondering, “What now? What else is there to offer?” Today, I have the answer – The Beyond Blind Institute. BBI is an innovative organization dedicated to the health, wellness and education of visually impaired and blind adults.

My first interaction with BBI was as a volunteer at their 5K run in Abacoa - “Blindfest 2012.” It was an experience that changed my life. There was such a positive energy and a passion among the members, volunteers, the BBI staff, and the community. I witnessed Scott Greenblatt, a totally blind lawyer, finishing the race in 34 minutes 5 seconds!! I saw blind men and women chopping, dicing, cooking and serving food. Beautiful, creative artwork made by BBI members was on display. There was laughter, friendship, a family. These were not depressed, withdrawn people suffering from visual impairment. These were enthusiastic, talented individuals taking charge and living life. What an inspiration!

I have since become a Board Member for BBI. I believe in this organization and I believe in our mission. We currently offer our fitness, culinary and art programs at various sites within Palm Beach County. BBI needs your financial support to allow us to secure one location to house all of our programs independently, increase our membership, and expand our programs. Please visit our website, become a Buddy for the Blind, and help support this wonderful organization.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My name is Michael G. Lello from N. Palm Beach County, as a volunteer of The Beyond Blind Institute it takes these individuals out of isolation and illuminates their life.

The classes such as cooking, exercising, and creating art are profound in sensory environment and the motivation of the individual.

I so enjoy being a part of Joyce Gugel’s program assisting others in what I pass off as a daily routine.

I hope others will recognize the work being done by BBI and will find it in their hearts to fund the programs that are giving extraordinary light to people who deserve the opportunities to achieve their goals!

I look forward to this extended commitment and reaching out for the funds to make this program excel.
Thank you Joyce.

Regards,
Michael G. Lello

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

I am the owner of Loggerhead Fitness. We are a boutique health club located in Juno Beach, FL and a long time BBI supporter. We are committed to helping BBI and its members stay healthy and fit. We host BBI visits twice a week and have been doing this for several years. I can attest to the commitment, heart and soul that Joyce Gugel brings to this incredible organization. The stories I hear from Joyce are mesmerizing and in many cases unimaginable. Sightless people need the opportunity to stay healthy and fit. We are delighted and honored to be able to provide a safe refuge for BBI that is badly needed. Each BBI member that works out with us has their own amazing story of hardship and willingness to persevere. They are incredibly polite and go out of their way to thank the many volunteers that lead them through strength training and stretching classes. The experience has been rewarding for both sides. We look forward to continuing our relationship with BBI for many years. Joyce works tirelessly to raise awareness and funds to advance this unique organization. I admire her passion and (no pun intended) her vision for this organization is limitless. Go BBI!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

The BBI has had a profound impact onour lives. On Thanksgiving Day 2010, my then 27 year old daughter Nicole suffered a grand mal seizure, the result of a brain tumor. Four days later she had multiple strokes and lost her eyesight-permanently. She was in the hospital for two months. When I brought her home, I was floundering; I had no idea how to proceed, the state run agencies had little to offer. Nicole had only been home a week when we received a phone call from one of God's angels, Joyce Gugel, the founder of BBI. Joyce had called a flower shop that Nicole's husband worked at looking for centerpiece donations and when she explained to him who she was and what her organization did, he couldn't wait to tell her about Nicole's story. We are convinced that there are no coincidences! Joyce called me immediately-I couldn't believe it-there was hope! She invited Nicole to join the BBI group in their activities and right away Nicole found that there were many other people living happy and productive lives without being sighted. She continues to enjoy social, fitness and learning activities with the group. Joyce and her husband Les have truly blessed our lives with their selfless efforts to empower the blind. We are forever grateful. Allison Goldstein

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked with BBI for the past 2 years, and I have seen the difference the organization has made in the lives of SO MANY blind individuals! Joyce Gugel is inspired, and she is making things happen for blind people in South Florida. I have worked in the field of blindness and visual impairment for over 35 years, and it is rare to find these types of services and a woman like Joyce Gugel dedicating her life so selflessly to helping others. I hope others will recognize the work being done by BBI and will find it in their hearts to fund the programs that are giving NEW light and life to blind people who deserve the opportunities to achieve their goals!

Review from Guidestar

Margaret31

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This organization is a whole lot of heart and soul. There is a real passion to empowering the visually impaired and blind. The members have a doorway opened to them that they thought would never exist. Members have gone from overweight, depressed, and home-bound to happy, healthy individuals who have hope and feel released to be part of society. They do things with this institute they never thought they would be able to do such as cooking, exercising, and creating art! We can't do without this organization for the blind and visually impaired need to know that they, too, are important.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

It takes someone like Joyce Gugel and her staff have such a heart to give back to others in the community with such a life changing illness. Mom became blind at 75, overnight due to temperal arteritis. Since then, I have become her caretaker and transitioning from sight to sightless has been traumatic. This woman, my mom, was not going to sit at home and feel sorry for herself. We found the BBI and now mom goes to exercise again and even takes art classes. She comes home excited with her art project, even if she cannot see it. That is something very empowering.
Thank you BBI!

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

the fitness program has played a key role in weight loss among the members giving them incentive to once again reach for excellence in their everyday lives. making them feel alive again part of something that matters in their lives. along with the desire to be a active member of society in every way , helping them understand that blindness is just a disability not something that stops their lives.


Larry LaBadie / Fitness BBI coordinator

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Beyond Blind Institute is providing many programs, such as the "Sight-less Chef" culinary program, that truly change lives. The loss of sight can be devastating and create a lack of confidence in the affected person. However, those that I have come in contact with who are involved in the Beyond Blind Institute programs appear to have overcome many of the setbacks associated with their loss of vision.

Review from Guidestar