Two of our volunteers, Susan and Kathy, take a well deserved break
Whether you claim to live in the “Valley of Hearts Delight,”.. “Silicon Valley”… or The Santa Clara Valley, it is all the same home with the same needs. Since the end of World War II, volunteering time and energy to causes near and dear to our hearts has been the backbone of the American concept of Helping Others. It’s safe to say The Braille Transcription Project would not exist if it weren’t for our team of volunteers. Whether its transcribing printed materials or repairing Braillers (braille typewriters) the benefits to the Blind community remain a need in today’s world.
I started looking for volunteer work in 2006. That’s when I called the Braille Project and found that they could use some help with basic equipment maintenance. Within a year, I found I was repairing Braillers, Embossers, Computers and other machines as needed. I also assist the program by generating computer reports when the need arises.
Prior to working with the Braille Transcription Project, I worked as an airline mechanic for 39 year. After retiring, I started repairing Braillers in 2004 for the project. Since I’ve always loved working with my hands, repairing machines was a natural fit for me. I am also the purchasing agent, buying paper products and other supplies for the project.
In 1970 I looked for a worthwhile way to spend my spare time. So I drove the six blocks from my house to see Sylvia Cassell’s Braille Project. Some forty-six years later I’m still driving the same six blocks several times a week to help run the Project. Meeting the needs of the blind is still relevant, so I continue to braille at home. Most satisfying to me are the life long friends I’ve made, both sighted and blind.
My interest in Braille started at a young age but I found it hard to find a proper place or time to pursue my interests. When the opportunity to volunteer presented itself, I grabbed the chance. Volunteering provides me satisfaction and is rewarding both personally as well as adding to my own growth. I get a sense of accomplishment for the work I do.
I started in 1986 when The Braille Project was part of Sixth District PTA and I was their Treasurer. I was instrumental in helping the Braille project graduate and become an independent 501(c)(3) Charity and expand their work to aiding collage age, technical and graduate students advance in their chosen fields. I am still able to keep the financial books, file the necessary tax forms and support the projects independent endeavors.