end of the year appeal, 2017

Dear Friends of the Seeing Hand Association,

If you would have told me five years ago that an empty lot on Wheeling Island would be the site for a future blind urban garden filled with beautiful flowers, lush produce, and an enchanted garden party on a warm August evening with a string quartet playing in the middle of the string beans, I would not have believed it. This summer we officially dedicated our garden to Aaron and Rhoda Edelman, who donated the land. Their generosity along with the generosity of local foundations and donors has helped to create a thing of beauty where an empty lot once stood and also an employment opportunity for our clients. On a cool fall day a few weeks ago our client Debbie was helping John work in the garden. John is totally blind and this is the first year he experienced being in the garden. John expressed to Debbie how much he enjoyed working in the garden and loved being outdoors. Debbie turned to the garden manager and said, “Gosh, I think we have ourselves a gardener!” Gardening is such a simple act for a sighted person; but an incredible accomplishment for a blind individual.

Speaking of employment opportunities, we are excited to kick off our new workshop project—refilling and selling refurbished fire extinguishers. This project will provide additional job opportunities for the blind and visually impaired. After a year of research and working closely with the National Industries for the Blind, we knew we found a viable project for the Seeing Hand Association. Thanks to another very generous local foundation, we were able to renovate our workshop to take on this project. We hope to provide a valuable recycled product and service not just in our community but throughout the tri-state area and around West Virginia.

I am thrilled that we were able to provide outreach and services to nearly 8,000 people from the very young to our senior citizens in 2017, including our summer camp for blind and visually impaired youth. This past year has left me speechless and filled with gratitude for all the support the Seeing Hand Association receives throughout the community. We know that our agency is blessed with generous donors and volunteers. And, quite frankly, we couldn’t do what we do on a daily basis without all of you. Visual impairment and blindness affect most of us in some way. We are hopeful for what the future holds as far as new surgical tech-niques, visual aides, and support services. We are humbled to be a part of providing visual services and employment opportunities to those in need. Support us today by returning the enclosed envelope with your tax-deductible donation or log on to our newly designed website at www.seeinghandassociation.com and make your donation electronically.

We appreciate your support. Thank you. From our Seeing Hand Association family to your family, happy holidays and many blessings in the new year!
Karen Haught
Executive Director