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LightHouseSF

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The LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired
August 27, 2008

I have been working with my client, Virginia for over a year now. We meet once a week in her home, and my job is to do reading and writing for her. I use large black markers she provides to make big letters on paper which she can more easily see with Macular Degeneration. I also read articles from periodicals to her, notes and cards people have written, and various sorts of other correspondence she needs to have read. I have taken her to several events, including the Commission on Aging, to which I am our town's rep. We have had a wonderful time together. We have lots of giggles and laughs, accomplish much in our hour and a half together, and work toward organizing her obligations in a functional way so that she can address them with greater independence. We've supportively tossed ideas around a lot. She's become my good friend, and I, hers. It has been a great relationship and a deeply rewarding friendship. I look forward to our time together each week. We really listen to each other in ways that count.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The client I work with has become my good friend, and I, hers. It has been a great relationship and a deeply rewarding friendship. I look forward to our time together each week. We really listen to each other in ways that count.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

MY ROLE:
Volunteer & I meet with my client once a week in her home. My job is to do reading and writing for her.

The LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired
August 23, 2008

I have been a volunteer at the LightHouse since 2002. Prior to my time here, I had been volunteering for several other organizations, however no other place can compare to the experience I've had at the LightHouse. This has truly been my most rewarding experience as a volunteer. One unexpected surprise I found during my time as a broadcaster was the amount of confidence it gave me in my own personal life. At the time, I was a college student and extremely nervous and shy about reading aloud in front of an audience. Being a reader helped tremendously with my own reading and speaking skills, so much so that my family, friends and teachers at school even noticed a change. Talking on the radio also helped me learn to use different tones of emotion and helped me in expressing my thoughts more clearly. Here I was thinking that my goal was to try to help give back to the blind and visually impaired community, yet in return I received (and continue to receive) more from the experience than I could have ever imagined. This experience has given me the wonderful gift of confidence and insight that I hope to carry with me for the rest of my life. The LightHouse not only provides solutions for people living with vision loss, but it gives those of us who are volunteers the opportunity to learn more about ourselves and others.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

One unexpected surprise I found during my time as a broadcaster was the amount of confidence it gave me in my own personal life. This experience has given me the wonderful gift of confidence and insight that I hope to carry with me for the rest of my life.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

MY ROLE:
Volunteer & I began as an administrative volunteer, then a broadcaster in AIS Radio reading Sports Illustrated and most recently from home as a reader for the weekly TV Guide listings.

The LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired
August 23, 2008

Working with the blind and visually impaired at the LightHouse has genuinely brightened my outlook on life. No matter how stressed out I might feel before going, when I return from an hour or two spent with the warm and appreciative clients at the LightHouse, I can always count on my heart beating a little bit freer and more joyfully afterwards! I don't know if it's a testament to the healing power of art, or of those who love it, but despite their challenges I always find the LightHouse clients who attend art class to have caring and generous spirits and to always be ready for a good laugh. In my duties as an art class volunteer on Wednesday afternoons I have assisted people with a whole range of visual impairments as they explore and enjoy working with ceramics, other sculptural materials, paint, needlework, sewing, collage and even jewelry making. Being witness to their creative process, and joining in the fun myself as I help fetch brushes, rinse cups, find scissors and thread, read the labels on the bottles of glaze and lend them my eyes in other useful ways has inspired me over and over in the last 18 months to start crafting in my own free time. It has removed the mystique and pressure I may have had about trying to make something "good" and given me license to simply enjoy the process of making things on my own. Since volunteering in art class I've made ceramic gifts for friends, begun collaging, and making my own jewelry. I'm not sure if I would've found my way there without experiencing first hand the joy the LightHouse clients emanate despite their odds. I have tremendous admiration for Marian, living on her own despite her limited vision, and having the smarts and courage to manage her own affairs. She is quickly changing my perspective on aging, and just being around her is giving me the bravery to face the challenges of senior living I may one day encounter myself.

More feedback

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Working with the blind and visually impaired at the LightHouse has genuinely brightened my outlook on life.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

MY ROLE:
Volunteer & I volunteer in the Arts & Crafts class. Because of the positive experience, I also now work as a personal services volunteer assisting an elderly woman with Macular Degeneration in her home: we genuinely enjoy each other's company.