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2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit

VISIONS/ Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Blind & Visually Impaired Centers, Disabilities, Eye Diseases, Blindness & Vision Impairments, Health, Human Services, Job Training, Vocational Rehabilitation

Mission: VISIONS, incorporated in 1926, was founded by a group of women who believed in offering opportunities for independence, employment, socialization, vocational rehabilitation and family services for people who are blind or visually impaired. VISIONS continues its original mission of promoting the independence of people of all ages who are blind or visually impaired. Our vision is for everyone to see what is possible!

Results: #1 in New York State in job placements of people who are legally blind for three years in a row Majority of participants at VISIONS at Selis Manor and VISIONS Center on Aging senior center and VISIONS Center on Blindness have increased their physical activity, report increased positive feelings about themselves and less depression and better adjustment to blindness, improved social connections and increased social networks and improved skills including daily living, mobility, technology, fitness and access to information Over 750 unpaid caregivers have received support and services

Target demographics: people of all ages with blindness and severe loss and their families

Direct beneficiaries per year: 2018 we impacted the lives of over 7000 people

Geographic areas served: the Metropolitan New York City area, NYC, Long Island, Westshester, Rockland Counties

Programs: vision rehabilitation in-home, community and the workplace; pre-employment and job placement services; children, youth, adult and senior services at two sites in Manhattan,NY and a short-term residential vocational rehabilitation center in Rockland County, NY. Family and unpaid caregiver support services are provided in all neighborhoods and all service sites. VISIONS at Selis Manor: the number of volunteers increased to over 200. There has been an increase in the type of classes offered to adults and seniors including new support groups and assistive technology training. Collaborations with numerous organizations through free training, workshops, etc. has increased. Over 1000 blind participants are registered for services with an additional number of indiviudals attending meetings, seminars, drop-in services, library and bowling clubs.

Community Stories

88 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered here last summer and had such an amazing experience. Everyone was so welcoming and friendly (especially Natasha!), and willing to help. From volunteering to go on walks with the senior citizens to opening and helping with mail, I was able to learn a lot and reach beyond my comfort zone. As a pre-optometry student, VISIONS has opened a lot of doors for me and introduced me to others who have constantly helped and encouraged me.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering at VISIONS for almost a year now. The community that VISIONS fosters is truly amazing. All the participants of the program, staff, and employees are friendly and welcoming. Throughout the year, VISIONS offers a variety of events and gathering that its members can participate in.
I helped participants grocery shop, read mail, many others. The opportunities and connections VISIONS offers to its participants are unparalleled.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

The staff are extremely kind, welcoming and friendly. From my experience volunteering, I can say that the work this nonprofit does has a positive impact on everyone involved. Volunteering at VISIONS is a very fulfilling experience.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Absolutely love volunteering here. There are such great people running VISIONS that take time to help everyone and anyone who needs it! Warm and welcoming atmosphere and the seniors are a joy to help!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I went to volunteer at Visions during 2018 joining different groups of activity sessions. During each of the class activities the members of the community meaningfully engaged with each other and enjoyed learning new things.

Everyone at the administrative office was always so kind, thoughtful and open to me joining a variety of activities. The administrative team even went above and beyond giving me advice on my thesis project, about designing more inclusively for people who are blind and visually impaired. They allowed me to create activities for some of the members to engage in and have fun.

At Visions I also engaged with the group of teenagers that sold goodies for the older adults. They explained to me how formative this activity was for them as they got to meet members of Visions community as well as learn business skills for future job opportunities.

Jonathan P.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I worked here for a summer last year. Met lots of wonderful folks who helped run things there as well as other volunteers. I am an optometry student and the people at VISIONS (Natasha's the best!) organized a little get together and I got to help some pre-optometry students out as well. I worked directly with clients doing reading and also participated in some of the dinner services. Everything was really well run and the people I encountered during my time there were all warm. Would recommend this service!

blewers

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered with Visions at Selis Manor for about five years. I assisted with the chair yoga class every month and read for a blind gentleman once a week. Visions is a truly wonderful place filled with loving people who help give the feeling of home and stability. I also want to give a shout out for Natasha DeLeon the volunteer coordinator who is bright, energetic and loving.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I wanted to work with the blind ever since my mother had read for The Lighthouse many years ago. I was introduced to Visions in 2008 and started working in the office to organize the files. Then an opportunity arose to help in the yoga class for the blind. I did this for five years and loved it. It was a chance to make a real difference for the people in the class. Simultaneously I began reading for one of the tenants of Selis Manor. This relationship lasted for about four years, running simultaneously, with the yoga class. I would say the bond I developed with John mean more to me than just about any other relationship. It ended when he had to leave Selis Manor for he could no longer live independently.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with Visions for the past couple of years. I have met some wonderful people here and love the time I spend with them. I recommend anyone volunteering here!

Client Served

Rating: 5

The visions is one of the best nonprofit organisation that I and my father know.
People who work there very kind, responsive, respectful and supportive.
The director of the program Elizabeth Lee is a very humble person who we had a pleasure to meet in our first appointment at home visit. She helped my father to get a necessary walking tool after my father became disabled due to multiple stokes.
Visions cares about the people and it’s clients and provides food and necessary tools during COVID-19 crisis. Visions provides emotional group support to caregivers like I and arranged different type of relaxing groups like yoga, proper diet and how to cope with obstacles.
We want to thank personally Dawn and Elizabeth for being so amazing and kind and providing their valuable work to our family. These people are changing agents whose work is priceless and thank you for their great service.
I and my father never forget what they done and doing for us. May Allah bless them and their kind hearts and souls.
We love you and we are blessed that we know you guys, especially now.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

During my one-year tenure volunteering at VISIONS, I have been blessed with experiencing the nature of what some have to go through just so they are able to live their lives. It's humbling and has helped me reflect on my life in ways I have never thought possible. I will forever remember and hold onto this memory as it means a great deal to me.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered to read at Visions several years ago and ended up teaching a class about the history of fairy tales as well. I also took a class to learn how to read braille. I loved the time that I spent there. Visions is an important program and I feel so lucky to have had the chance to be involved and to meet and to spend time with some of the wonderful residents of Selis Manor.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I chose to volunteer at VISIONS for the summer of 2019. This experience taught me to be more humble to people and brought out the best in me. Ever since the beginning of the year, I slowly stopped being helpful to others in any way I could. Through this program, I regained my desire to provide assistance even if it's just reading for them. I'm grateful for the Visions and their volunteer services.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Visions is a great organization that helps visually disabled seniors with daily activities. For the two summers that I volunteered there I had a great time while being of assistance to those in need. All of the seniors are really nice and the staff there make you feel very welcome and at home.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Visions is a great way to connect the older and younger generations. I was able to not only help senior citizens with their daily lives, but learn about them and see the world through their perspective. It was an amazing experience and I'm extremely grateful I was able to participate again in this program.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I first started volunteering at VISIONS over the summer, I honestly didn't know what to expect. Everyone was so nice and understanding even though I was inexperienced and made me feel welcome. I was able to meet other great volunteers and work with amazing people who were all really sweet to me. If I can, I hope to volunteer again next summer.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

For me as a volunteer, VISIONS was a very helpful and eye opening experience. It allowed me to get to know people different from me better. It showed me how little we can have in common and yet be able to connect. I would definitely recommend for others to volunteer here.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Recently I was one of a group of volunteers aiding participants from VISIONS to a trip to NYC's Governor's Island to the Teaching Gardens. It was a fantastic experience to ride the ferry, walk to the Gardens and experience the various plants and herbs with VISIONS. I learned a great deal and the staff at VISIONS made it all run smoothly. The participants ended the day with huge smiles on their faces and so did we. A marvelous day, a wonderful nonprofit. Thanks to everyone involved.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with VISIONS for almost two years. I am always amazed at the range of services they provide. Many of the seniors I've worked with have better social lives than me! I love working with them because they're a) extremely patient and b) genuinely fun to hang out with. I love that everyone feels comfortable in the building, sharing jokes and teasing each other. It's been an absolute pleasure working with them.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This was a great volunteering experience. I had a lot of training which was extremely useful and the overall experience gave me insight on how the disabled have to face everyday life with impaired vision. It made me realize how important and useful my eyesight is and it has made me very grateful for what I already have!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a high school student who volunteers at VISIONS once a week during the school year, and multiple times a week during the summer. This was where I had my first volunteering experience, and once I walked into the facility I absolutely fell in love. The staff is amazing, and I have met so many wonderful people along the way: fellow volunteers, clients, pets, and more. I have never really encountered anyone who was visually impaired before this program, and the things I have learned are absolutely humbling. Working at VISIONS has changed my perspective on life. I am so happy to volunteer here, and I am proud to say I won't be stopping any time soon. I am grateful for the opportunity to help people, and provide help or company to those who need it.
-ITP

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Great organization and friendly staff. pleasure to work with

Volunteer

Rating: 5

volunteering at VISIONS was a great experience. I learned many things about the blind individuals and how to properly work well with them. This is a great experience for me as I want to be in the medical field in the future.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Working in Visions taught me how to communicate with with elders and taught how to work with blind and impaired people. It was an wonderful experience because i became experience with so many things. It taught me the true value of helping others and making others happy.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

i notice vision people are very helpful and kindly. When i did mistake they forgiver me

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hello everyone, I am Sakina S. Mandviwala. I am a volunteer with the visions from 2016.
It is a pleasure and a privilege; and I consider myself fortunate to be associated with such, humble, sincere and dedicated people.
The staff is amazingingly cooperative and helpful. They endeavor with determination and perseverance to help the visvually impaired and make sure that all their needs are met.
I take great pride in quoting Ms. Natasha and Ms. Rocky, who take that extra step further beyond to help ans serve.
I hope and pray GOD rewards all the sincere and dedicated staff abundantly, for their selfless service and all their goals are accomplished.

Jennifer272

Volunteer

Rating: 5

They do the most amazing work. I was honored to volunteer there. I had the most incredible and meaningful volunteer experiences through VISIONS. They train their volunteers really well. They offer incredible programs for a really underserved population. Many way to collunteer!

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

VISIONS provides an incredible service he the blind & visually impaired community in New York especially those who are low income and have multiple disabilities. They run an assortment of classes and social activities for their clients. As a volunteer I have seen the incredible impact this has had on people. By reading them their mail, helping them pay bills, helping them shop and get to appointments we are able to help them live independent full lives. As someone who has been involved in many different volunteering opportunities I can see first hand the AMAZING things they do and it is by far the greatest volunteering experience I have had. The staff and volunteers some of are nicest and most helpful people I have ever met.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The best introduction to volunteer work I could have hoped for. It entails enjoyable, rewarding work I anticipated, and work that involves and teaches skills relevant in a business setting, with the added benefit of good camaraderie and devoted supervisors.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Working at Visions is a highlight of my week. The programs are efficiently scheduled and the facility is wonderful to work at. Staff is always available to help and listen to any questions, comments or ideas. Teaching classes at Visions has made me a better instructor and I look forward to continuing with this amazing and important organization.

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Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Visions is a true gift to all who enter its doors. They offer numerous programs and services all year long. Senior Director of Selis Manor Ann Deshazo expertly runs VISIONS in a professional manner while still making you feel like part of a family. As an instructor, I always hear feedback about how much the students enjoy VISIONS and everything it has to offer. Everyone is warm and friendly and newcomers are always made to feel at home. Teaching at VISIONS is very rewarding and helps me to be a better instructor. I am very proud to say I work at VISIONS.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Being a volunteer for VISIONS has definitely introduced me to a whole new lifestyle that I did not know existed. I realized how little I took for granted over the little things like using a computer, reading books, or even eating during a meal. VISIONS has showed me the various methods and ways that individuals who are blind or visually impaired can use to adapt to their surroundings. Compared to other volunteer work I have done, VISIONS seems to genuinely care about the wellbeing of each and every individual that walks in through the doors.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer who takes phone calls/answer phone calls and referrals/ refer people to the proper channels. I also answer questions if people call with them and offer information about the program. I am also a participate in the program, not only do they help me work but they also provide me with their services as I am visually impaired. They provide services such as a senior center, escort services that help visually impaired people do they shopping and run errands, they also have programs such as fitness, recreational services, computer classes, craft classes, knitting and crocheting, etc.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Since being introduced to this wonderful place for those who are blind and visually impaired, of which I am one, I have enjoyed the experience. The staff and the services that are available help to keep one engaged, gainfully employed, and helps to keep an individual an active part of society. The staff is well trained to deal with different personalities and attitudes. I would have never know an agency existed if I weren't for my counselor. More people need to know about visions and what they do and offer as an organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered for VISIONS when I was a junior in high school up until the summer before my first year of college. When I was given the opportunity and the privilege to help others who are blind or visually impaired I was astounded at the profound effect I had on each and every one of them. I gained a lot of insight and this experience helped shape my perspective on not only blind people but people with all disabilities. I believe that VISIONS is an amazing program and I am grateful to have been once a part of it.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've always wanted to give back to my community by volunteering at a center for people with disabilities. When I found out about Visions, I did not hesitate to apply. It definitely has made a positive impact in the lives of blind seniors, as well as my own. Visions teaches you to be responsible, caring and appreciative. Furthermore, I've become more aware of afflictions and sufferings of others which has increased my own inner strength.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Having worked with VISIONS for a number of years to provide creative writing and arts programming to visually impaired and legally blind seniors, I can say that VISIONS is an amazing organization. They provide caring and thoughtful attention to the people they serve, and offer much needed services to NYC.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A very heartwarming experience. VISIONS really strives to bring out the best in their clients.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was at Visions as a social work intern for 8 months. I felt very much supported by the staff at Visions and learned so much from working with everyone there. Visions is an organization devoted to promoting the welfare and public awareness of the needs of the visually impaired and legally blind. The organization is full of passionate, dedicated, and knowledgable staff. It is a wonderful place to work and the work they do is invaluable to the community.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

VISIONS Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired is a wonderful organization that makes a meaningful impact to it's clients and community as a whole. This is an organization that offers a multitude of services to individuals of all ages who are legally blind or visually impaired. Their services range from employment services, to a senior center in Chelsea, a community center, vision rehabilitation services, caregiver support, to a residential facility in Spring Valley, NY. This an organization that I would highly recommend to anyone that is seeking services related to vision loss.

Marsha M.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been teaching a writing course at Visions for 6 months and it's the best job I've ever worked. They all want to write despite the unique challenges of accessibility. These students are afraid of nobody and nothing. They're strong, independent people. VISIONS provides them with services they need and they all love to come, and I'm happy to see them every week.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer at Visions for about four years. I look forward to the time that I spend there each week. The staff really care about the residents and the clients.
There are so many programs and special events for the visually impaired such as Proms, Talent Shows, Jewelry Making and many more to normalize their every day lives.
I have learned that people with disabilities can live and enjoy life to the fullest, and I truly believe that Visions does everything possible to see that happen.
I will continue to volunteer at Visions and be part of that wonderful experience.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering in 2012 at Visions teaching Zumba Gold. I had never taught the blind/vision impaired and have learned along the way what works well in terms of describing the movements to the class who are seated in chairs. I am always amazed at how few times I have had to physically help someone to get a movement correct. This volunteering led to a part-time teaching position - teaching Zumba Gold once a week. I am so glad that Director Ann DeShazo contacted me from my Zumba website and asked me to teach Zumba at Visions which led to such a great opportunity to teach with a very appreciative group of students. In addition to the weekly class, I also have participated in several Senior Fitness Days teaching Zumba Gold. I also volunteer once a month at Visions with Cherub Improv, leading an improv comedy workshop, and have helped to book the choir Happy Hour Harmonies to perform at the Coffee House event. I always look to recommend other volunteers to Visions and try to think of other programs that might work well at Visions. Thanks to the entire staff who has made me feel welcome and is always helpful: Chris Thompson, Liz Lee, Natasha DeLeon, Carrie Lewey, Teresa Rivero, Tony Wu- what a great crew!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

VISIONS is a life-changing program for both the seniors who benefit from it and the volunteers who gain life skills. Volunteers explore new worlds outside of their comfort zone by working with seniors and bringing to them the joys of reading, shopping and company.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

VISIONS is an amazing nonprofit that really strives to help the visually impaired with everyday activities. As a volunteer of VISIONS, I feel so good about myself after helping an elderly read mail, go shopping, serve meals, and provide friendly visits. VISIONS is like a little haven for the elderly to communicate with eachother and have fun!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with Visions for several years. Meeting clients and working here has been not only a learning experience but an enriching one. Natasha de Leon, our Volunteer Coordinator is involved, attentive and helpful which makes volunteering a pleasure. I have found the staff in general to be sensitivie to those they are serving; there is a friendly, open and communal atmosphere.

Clients -some of whom have become friends - tell me about the many and varied activities and classes offered, from yoga and fitness to book clubs, current events, jewelry making, tech programs, etc. The Senior food program is very popular and serves a real need. I am honored to be part of the program at Visions - helping when there is a need - and being part of this community of incredible people who inspire me.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer for Visions I helped with the walking program. This program inspired residents to get outside and take a walk to encourage better health. We had lots of fun stretching before hand to music then walking and recording our steps. There was such enthusiasm and socializing that participants didn't notice they were exercising. Lots of fun and a meaningful outcome!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Within the short period that I have been working with Visions, I personally witnessed how the organization brought together New Yorkers to create a family away from home. Despite coming from diverse communities, clients, volunteers, and workers form a close knit community characterized by understanding and genuine concern for each other.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I am a volunteer at Selis Manor through Visions. I have been a volunteer for over 20 years. Over the years, I have had the opportunity to work with many of the residents and other visually impaired people at Selis Manor. Typically, I read materials to residents (mail, magazines, the Bible, operating manuals, etc.). I have also provided escort service for people needing an escort. Also, I have worked on special events in the facility (helping to serve in the cafeteria, etc.)

My services are coordinated by the Volunteer Office at Selis Manor. Weekly emails are sent out detailing volunteer needs and those of us who are available can volunteer by responding to the email. I do not have regular clients but fill in where needed.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Always a very rewarding experience to help those in need. The clients themselves are generally very interesting people, often with fascinating life stories. The volunteer coordinator, Ms. Natasha DeLeon, is also a most enjoyable person to work with.

I highly advise those who get personal satisfaction from giving back to call Visions and discuss their programs. You will not regret it.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

VISIONS truly cares about the people it helps, and makes certain that every person gets the personal attention that they need through the diligent organization of Ms. Rivero, Ms. Liz, and Ms. Lewy. They are never too tired to schedule a home visit for somebody, and make certain everyone is always looked after.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My five years as a volunteer 'reader' with Visions has given me insight and compassion into the joys and struggles of my blind clients. I have made many good friends here over the years whom I value greatly.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Visions is a great program that provides services to the blind and visually impaired. It helps connect the world of sight with those who cannot see, and to people of all ages. Not only to volunteers get to understand what being visually impaired is like, but they also gain experience and possibly friends they would normally not make. The clients are also extremely kind and are willing to share their stories with ours. I enjoy working with Visions, and hopefully will return to help those in need.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer at Visions Center in summer of 2016. I volunteered in the summer and I learned so much from being in this program. Being with clients and having conversations with them made me realize the small things I have that I usually don't tend to appreciate. That's what Visions taught me. I learned having eyesight is a blessing even though it may not be the best. I've grown bonds with several of my clients. One clinent of mine name Ida was truly blessed to have signed up for Visions. She honestly loved how much Visions cared for her and were so thoughtful. Ida would always tell me how words and actions wouldn't describe how thankful she was of Visions. Unfortunately, Ida passed away and I was deeply sadden by this. May she Rest In Peace. I will not forget Ida and how much Visions impacted her life. There are other clients that feel the same way. I am volunteering again over this summer and I would love to see this love and passion towards vision in other clients as well.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering at VISIONS for two years. I remember being shy and rather quiet at the start. However, over the course of these two years, I have talked with many seniors which has helped me become a more talkative and kind person. I also learned how to be more patient which is an important thing to know how to do when working with anyone. All of the seniors are so kind and have a sense of humor. I enjoy getting to know them and feel happy to be able to help with their everyday tasks just to make their everyday lives a little bit easier. I think it is very helpful that meals are provided for people over 65 and who are visually impaired/ blind because it really means a lot to them, and many people come in for these meals. The home visits that volunteers go on really mean a lot to the seniors; it provides them with a sense of comfort and allows them to do new things, such as going on a walk in the park or talking about their life experiences, especially if they don't get out much or have people to help/ converse with them a majority of the time. The seniors really appreciate it and it makes me happy to see them cheerful.
VISIONS is a place for people of all colors and religions alike. It makes me happy to see that I am a part of such a tight-knit community filled with young and old people together. It has helped me become a more patient, better, and outgoing person. I am very grateful for VISIONS and hope to resume being a volunteer!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I began volunteering for VISIONS clients several years ago. I immediately observed the continuing devotion of the staff and employees of Visions Services, exhibiting an admirable dedication to the Blind and Visually Impaired with kindness, caring and a wonderful warmth and fuzziness. The considerations to the clients in almost every way is extraordinary. Braille, exercise, computer classes and much, much proving over and over that Visions continually thinks of a future for their clients.

I had volunteered with the wrong impression that people who are blind or visually blind are totally dependent. Instead, I learned they are proficient in handling their affairs, organized and seemingly unhampered. They are always polite and can be easy going with a sense of humor. I enjoy my time with them and always look forward to the next time.

Thank you to Visions Selis Manor for my continuing experience.
Keiko Omori

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had the pleasure of hosting a weekly music class at Visions for the last year and it has been more rewarding than I could have imagined. I'm not only able to teach my students about the various era's of recorded songs, but THEY are able to teach me much more. We both are able to learn something new each week and have laughs while doing it. The staff at Visions has been nothing but professional and pleasurable to work with. They make my time being there a bit sweeter.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

At visions i learned many values that i need in my future career and for the rest of my life. Helping people that needs make me feel so good and i encouraged people to volunteer at visions.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering at Visions was an experience I will never forget. The people I met and the bonds I forged will last a lifetime. It was such an honor to work with such giving people.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I have been volunteering at VISIONS for over two years and truthfully, this has been one of the best decisions I've made. Not only was I able to help others, but also benefit myself in many ways. At Visions I have learned the importance of service, compassion and kindness. I have had the opportunity to meet two exceptional seniors during my homevisits-Tom and Gary. I have grown so close and I care for them deeply. They are very different yet they hold similar characteristics-generous, humorous, and loving- and that's what I love about them. Maria, my partner, and I have taken Tom to MET museum, something that he wanted to do for a long time. Also, I have cooked friedrice for him because he always seemed to eat the same food and I had purposely bought the ingredients beforehand and his reaction meant alot to me. He said I have never tasted this kind of food and its very good. I had mixed feelings about it, i was happy that he got to eat something he liked but I felt sad because i wished he could eat something like this everyday. Tom and I have similar interests such as we usually like to converse about politics, current events and philosophy.
Gary, who I also equally care for, is very interesting. Aside from his poor vision, he has hearing difficulties and when I first met him, I thought we wouldn't get along. I am very shy and tend to speak lowly. Although I have to raise my voice, I have learned to be patient and realized that his problems are not his fault, and together we can help each other become better human beings. Gary has taken Maria and me to a Japanese and Indian restaurant and I am grateful of his generosity. Overall, Visions has affected me in all positive ways. I will forever be grateful to Jessica, Liz, Carrie and Teresa for seeing potential in me and the other volunteers.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It has been a pleasure volunteering at Visions because of the great people that manage this program. Visions has helped me develop new skills that I will use not only now but in the future. The energy in Visions is great because the seniors are very appreciative of our help. I was able to converse with many seniors who would always offer any type of advice when needed. I love working with not only the seniors but along with the faculty members. I have been volunteering for over two years now and I continue to enjoy the wonderful people in this program.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering in visions has been a great experience. This has been my third time being able to help assist those who are blind and visually impaired. I have enjoyed volunteering in this program and being able to help those who are in need. This is a great program which allows one to build relationships with others and learn from their experiences.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

For anyone who wants to meet a group of wonderful, diverse and fascinating people, come to Visions. I have been a volunteer reader and escort here for two years and have formed friendships of trust and caring. There are clients who say they would not be able to accomplish the day-to-day business of reading mail, filling out forms, etc. were it not for the help of the volunteer program. The staff is exceptionally kind - open and available - and the atmosphere is lively and warm. Here is a community of
independent, strong-minded people who get to know one another, help one another and share mutual interests. I have seen how much a program like Visions, with its classes and activities and all that it offers, means to a blind or visually impaired person and I have learned how much I take for granted. It is a great enjoyment to come here and spend time with people I would not otherwise have the opportunity to meet and to share in their friendship, conversation and expertise.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Working with Visions has opened a whole new world of opportunities for me. It let me connect with some of the most kind visually impaired seniors and look at things their way. Before working with Visions I had always thought the visually impaired did not have any preferences when it came to things such as shopping for clothes or even groceries. As I went on home visits and went out with the seniors I learned how wrong my thoughts on them were. I began to see and understand the fact that they too have their own choices. Over all Visions has opened up a whole new perspective on the visually impaired for me and helped me understand how they live.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Working with VISIONS/Services for the Blind & Visually Impaired was a great experience for me to do this summer because I learn a lot for this program. I learn how to attend and solve for a person that is blind or visually impaired in the best way possible for them. I would work with vision again because the connection with the staff is very strong and the support is here as well.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

VISIONS is the most exceptional organization I have ever had the pleasure of volunteering with. In my experience, all of the seniors were given the same care and attention one might give a loved one or significant other. I have met some of the kindest and most generous individuals I have ever known at VISIONS, and my experiences as a volunteer there have broadened my intellectual horizons and erased my preconceived notions regarding the blind and the visually impaired. In my capacity as a volunteer there, I visited blind people off-site in all 5 boroughs, I was involved in several recreational classes (ranging from mental and physical health to broadway music), and I assisted in meal service, providing specially prepared meals for and socializing with blind and visually impaired people on-site in VISIONS' dining area. I would wholeheartedly recommend visions to any senior with vision problems, or anyone wishing to volunteer their time and enjoy a unique and life-changing experience unavailable elsewhere.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Working at Visions has shown me just how much we miss out on when the everyday person ignores someone who is visually impaired. When I'd see someone walking with a cane and dark sunglasses, I'd avoid them because I didn't know how to interact with them. Visions has taught me that these people are really just like the rest of us and that treating them the way you'd want to be treated is the best thing we can do for them. All the seniors I've visited and talked to at Visions have their own story to tell and are by far the most interesting people I have ever met. Most of these people I would've ignored had I passed by them in the street. So next time when I see a person walking with a cane and wearing dark sunglasses, or even just an elderly person, walking up to them and asking if they'd like help won't be as daunting as it used to be. I know what to do now, and Visions has given me the courage and knowledge to do it. Thank you Visions for showing me this, and for caring and providing for the visually impaired as no others but their own family have.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I've been volunteering with Visions for a few months and the staff has been really supportive of helping me adapt my class for the students. The students I work with at Visions all come to class with a great attitude, this class has become the highlight of my week!

Grace24

Volunteer

Rating: 5

During one home visit in Selis Manor (there are blind and visually impaired people living in the building, above the facilities on the first floor), my elderly client said, "I'm not rich, but I have a lot more money now since they started serving meals downstairs." Her casual comment really struck a chord with me. I'd thought of the food served in the auditorium as school cafeteria or airplane food. But it means a lot to the people who come in for it. Visually impaired and blind people can't cook. Visions provides them with a hot meal and friends who are like family. Most people don't realize how boring and lonely it is, being blind or visually impaired and in many instances, living alone. I didn't. One of my clients told me, "I don't really have anything for you to do today, so let's just talk. I rarely have company over. Most days, I just sit here and watch TV. It gets kind of lonely sometimes." The best part of this organization is knowing how important it is to people and what a difference it makes in their lives. It's been my honor to participate in this live-changing nonprofit.