Happy Holidays! Thanks to All of You, Lives Change at the Colorado Center for the Blind

Three young students stand in front of a medical vehicle, all wearing Santa hats
Caption: Cristian, Shyanne and Kelly stand in front of the medical vehicle at South Suburban Fire and Rescue Station #12 on December 16. They had just delivered a box of holiday cookies and treats baked by students to on-duty fire fighters. In turn, fire fighters showed students one of the trucks and the medical vehicle. The three students assisted in delivering treats to Littleton Police, where they met Chief Doug Stephens, as well as other officials. It is an annual tradition, our way of thanking the community that is the home of the Colorado center for the Blind.

We’re celebrating the holidays, and we hope you are too!

Yes, our programs change lives, class by class, day by day, week by week. Thanks to all of you who donated to our programs this year, we continue to be able to provide our students with the essential tools they need to take charge of their lives as blind people, and to confidently go on to live the lives they want! And we specifically want to call out those who supported us again this year for another successful Colorado Gives Day on December 10! Thank you!

Every donation makes a difference in our programs for youth, seniors and working-aged adults. Here are some things your donations help us provide:

  • $25 for a white cane, and everyone gets one when they start in one of our programs. A white cane is the essential tool of freedom of movement, and thus independence as a blind person.
  • $40 covers the cost of a Braille instruction book as well s the essential tools for writing – a slate and stylus. These are the basics of literacy as a blind person.
  • $75 is what our students can spend on the ironically-named “mini-meal.” This is a meal for 15 guests, and each student finds the recipes, calculates the quantities to serve 15 people, budgets and shops for it all before they start cooking.
  • $100 is the average cost of a final wood shop project that each student makes. This includes the wood, hardware and any finishing materials they might use.

Challenge recreation activities such as skiing, rock climbing, martial arts and more are an essential part of our programs for both our youth and adult students – even blind seniors. Why? Because it’s important for our students to stretch beyond the limits of their “comfort zones.” Students come to realize that doing something a little scary with the right skills gives them real confidence. And if they can go skiing or rock climbing without their vision, there is very little that they can’t conquer in their lives. Blindness doesn’t have to hold them back.

But these activities, so essential to our training and our philosophy, depend on outside financial support. Here are some examples of challenge rec activities your donations make possible:

  • $85 for one student to go rock climbing for one day. We usually try to make sure students can go three times, because that’s when the confidence really kicks in.
  • $100 for one day of skiing, and also we want them to go three times. This covers the skis, lift ticket and lesson.
  • $100 for an 8-week class in martial arts, taught here at the Center. You can’t believe the confidence students gain from tossing each other (and their instructors) around on the mat for 8 weeks!

Yes, there are any number of important activities and experiences that your donations help fund.

  • Students use all kinds of power tools on their shop projects, and we need to have good tools in working order.
  • Our nonvisual art programs are on the cutting edge, teaching invaluable things like spatial relations and mental mapping, but we need to buy the materials, alabaster, clay and more.
  • Our two-week Confidence Camp for Kids (ages 5-11) costs $750 per student, and we have anywhere from 10 to 15 students each summer.
  • Our five-day Seniors in Charge program costs $1000 per participant. We typically have 5 to 8 participants, and offer this program twice a year. But demand is increasing. We’re almost entirely booked for 2020, so we feel the need to offer Seniors in Charge three times next year, maybe in another city outside the Denver Metro area.

Lives change for blind people of all ages when they come for programs at the Colorado Center for the Blind.

“I’m still me… But I am also not me, or not the me that arrived in June,” said Holly in a recent post.

“I feel more and more ready to take my skills back home,” Maura posted after completing her mini-meal. “Thanks to CCB for continuing to drive home the point that I can live the life I want, and that blindness does not hold me back.”

We give students the opportunity to change, to become the kind of people who live the lives they want to live! Thank you for helping us create those opportunities for our students!

And a Happy New Year to us all!

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