[Community-Service] December 2022 Quarterly Newsletter

Maggie Stringer ravensfan784 at gmail.com
Tue Dec 20 20:11:44 UTC 2022

*“Beyond the Six Dots”*

National Federation of the Blind Community Service Division

December 2022 Quarterly Newsletter

We use a white cane, slate & stylus, and screen readers in between,

We read from the left, write from the right, and will tap tap onto any

We want our communities to know what we’ve got, a commitment to serve,

Beyond the Six Dots!


Written by Carol King-Ries, NFB of Delaware

It seems like it has only been a few months since we last celebrated the
Winter holidays of Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, Christmas, and Kwanza, but a
year has gone by like a flash and here we are again in the season of light,
joy, and peace. As the Community Service Division (CSD) Newsletter team
discussed this issue of the newsletter, we began to talk about how many
people struggle during the holiday season.  This can be due to many reasons
such as grief, loneliness, depression, and stress.  We thought it would be
a good idea to incorporate 12 days of service into the CSD holiday season.
I know that you are probably thinking that you do not need another thing to
add to your busy holiday life but hear me out.  If it does not bring joy,
light, and peace to your life, and to those you are serving, do not do it!
Also, you do not have to do 12 days.  You can do 8 days (Hannukah), 7 days
(Kwanza), or 1 day (Winter Solstice), or any amount that you choose, it is
up to you.  Below you will find 12 ideas that are free, or low cost that
you can provide to members of your community during this holiday season.
Tune up for the song….  On the first day of service, the CSD gave to me….

*Idea #1:  Send a thinking of you card to someone you know that has lost a
loved one this year. *

We all know of someone who has lost a loved one this year.  This will let
them know that you have not forgotten about them.

*Idea #2:  Call a person in your local chapter who you have not talked with
in a while.*

Sometimes, people think that if they are not actively engaged in a group,
they do not matter to the group.  Dispel that thought with a phone call.
This may disband isolation for someone.

*Idea #3:  Give a small gift to a child whose parent may be incarcerated,
deployed in the military, or hospitalized and cannot be home for Christmas.*

This will let the child know that they are not alone, and someone nearby is
thinking of them.  Please get the permission of the local parent/guardian

*Idea #4:  Share a meal with a Senior Citizen that lives alone.*

This could be a meal that you make or purchase.  The idea that someone is
thinking of them and spending time with them may make their day.

*Idea #5:  Offer to be a holiday greeter at your local Senior center*

Buy some candy canes and some bells and stand at the door or front desk
with a big smile and Happy Holidays on your lips.  Make someone’s day

*Idea #6:  Volunteer to gift wrap for organizations that give Christmas
gifts to kids and families.*

Even with my sight loss, I am one of the best gift wrappers around.
Organizations need this skill this time of year, and it will add to
someone’s Christmas cheer.

*Idea #7:  Play Braille games with a neighbor’s kids while they get things
done around the house.*

If you do not know Braille, play tactile games.  The kids may be fascinated
by the Braille, and the parent/guardian will have the time to get something
done with less stress.

*Idea #8 Pack simple bag lunches and hand them out to the homeless*

This could be as simple as a sandwich, bag of chips, and a piece of fruit.
This will require someone to help you find a group of people who are
homeless, however, that person may gain from the experience as well.

*Idea #9: Share a song with someone who needs encouragement*

I wish that we could send the Popcorn King, Marvin, around to make people
smile with his singing; but since we cannot, we can share a song via
YouTube.  Friends have started doing this with me, and it has been fun to
share and to smile.  I do it via cellphone, but it can also be done via

*Idea #10:  Bake a batch of cookies and share them with someone who is
alone *

This can be slice and bake cookies, or those you make from scratch, or buy
from your grocer’s bakery.  It is truly the sweet thought that counts.

*Idea #11:  Stream a holiday movie with someone*

You can invite them to your house, or take the popcorn, candy and DVD to
their house and enjoy the movie together.  It can be a classic such as “A
Miracle on 34th Street”, or a contemporary classic like “The Preacher’s

*Idea #12:  Send Christmas cards to people who are in Nursing homes,
rehabilitation hospitals, or group homes.*

These are people who may not get cards.  Send them some cheer via the USPS.

Please use these ideas or come up with your own.  The Community Service
Division (CSD) would love to hear what you did to brighten someone’s

Happy holidays to all, and a Happy New Year!


*Pop Right To The Top!*

*March 3rd to March 7th*

The NFB COMMUNITY SERVICE DIVISION is proud to announce the dates for our
next mouth-watering, flavorsome, kernelicious POPCORN FUNDRAISER! That’s
right, we’ve brought back the Double Good greatness, and our NFB CSD
Willing Workers are diligently working-hard to setup a PopTastic popcorn
store near you!

Mark your calendars to start shopping on Friday, March 3rd at 12PM, and
don’t stop until every bag has been sold by Tuesday, March 7th at 12PM EST!

We know the time is short, but these explosive flavors are popping out with
greatness! As a matter of fact, we believe your pantry is feeling empty
right now! It needs to know all about Butter Believe It, White Cheddar Go
Getter, Little Kettle That Could, and more!

Proceeds gained from this fundraiser will support the efforts of the
federation in addition to help promote the Community Service Division
projects. With that being said, get your mouse clicks and finger taps ready
because we’re going to POP RIGHT To The TOP, CSD Style!

Please contact Gloria Nathan-Cherry “The Popcorn Lady” for more information
at, (215)-971-6650.

If you listen very, very closely, you can almost hear the sizzles and
crackles of the hot oil. Double Good Gourmet has turned up the heat and is
ready for the CSD fundraiser to start cooking in service!


Written by Marvin K Griffin, Senior

They say a nickname is something someone else gives to you…. Well, they
call me the popcorn king AKA Captain kernel. my real name is Marvin K
Griffin, Senior and I guess I better share with you the reason why I was
given my nicknames. I have been a full-fledged participant in the double
good popcorn fundraiser for the Community Service Division of N F B for the
last two years. I don’t mean to sound like a braggard, but I have managed
to be the top seller in both campaigns as well, having contributed over
$5500 in combined popcorn sales! now, my purpose today is not to sit here
and boast about what I’ve done, because I do believe that what was done was
accomplished as a collective by our entire group of popcorn store
fundraisers and I am very proud of the work that we all did together, I
anticipate absolute greatness going forward with the group that we have had
in addition to the new recruits that we’ve had a chance to bring on board
to our division. my purpose, today is to share my experience, and to give a
little bit of insight into why I have had the positive results from the
fundraiser. although I don’t plan to give away all of my secrets lol, I
will give three steps that I think will be valuable tools for everyone
going forward as we continue to endeavor in raising funds for our division.
Step one no you’re focus group. I’d like to use a comparison to a garden
for the steps, and we can treat the focus group just like we would treat
the fertile soil for a garden. One of the most important things you can do
with a fertile soil is to make sure that it has the right composition.
Otherwise, you will see no harvest! and when it comes to people, one of the
things that I choose to look at, is whether or not, these folks are warm to
the conversation when I present what I’m doing. it’s very important to not
spend too much time with folks who give you the I don’t know; are they will
get back with me later type responses. These types of folks are the ones
who, will more than likely will not give to the fundraiser, so it’s most
important not to waste all of that precious time in that 4-day period
Leaning on folks who aren’t really going to give you the results you’re
looking for. another thing included in this first step is to make sure that
you revisit the same supporters from previous events because that is where
you create your base. to build upon from year to year. step 2 plant the

I can remember when I first started gardening, and I planted my first
seeds, and after a few days, I expected to see sprouts, but nothing
happened. I had to reach out to one of my gardening buddies, and I
discovered that my problem was that my seed was buried too deep within the
soil, and it would never sprout at that level. Hmmm…. That’s interesting
right? The seed needed to be placed in the proper position. In this
instance, the seed for us as popcorn store fundraisers is actually our
sales pitch.! Sometimes the pitches may take 5 minutes and others may take
a few seconds believe it or not. All it takes is a little practice while
including your top selling points. Remember, the more people you talk to
actually gives you a great chance to tailor your pitch to each individual
supporter. And before you know it those sales will grow just like my
kingdom lol!

Finally step 3 water the garden!

We live in a time where information flows into our minds, phones, and on
our computers and it is super easy for a 4-day fundraiser to slip off the
radar of our supporters. The remedy for this problem is pleasant
persistence. You got to water your garden my loyal subjects! Go back and
remind those supporters who gave you a firm yes because sometimes they
simply forget. Oftentimes I send a personalized reminder text. I try to
keep these humorous too, after all we aren’t trying to twist arms, right? A
bit of wit goes a long way!

Lastly my friends, the Original popcorn king, captain kernel and whatever
other monikers I receive will mean nothing without good people to share
them, with. so, I hope what I have written in this article will help all
who join us to become kings and queens on the CSD popcorn team!! Ladies and
gents, the OPK bids you farewell, work your gardens friends and, we’ll see
you all in March!!!


*Reaching Hearts, Changing Lives; Reflections From The Buckeye State*

Written by Delcenia Brown, NFB Ohio

Recently, the NFB of Ohio Community Service Division partnered with City
Mission for their 2022 annual affiliate service project. Delcenia Brown and
Joann Williams, along with several other dedicated members focused on
collecting the City Mission’s most needed and requested items.

“The city mission empowers men, women, and children in crisis to overcome
their unique, complex path to homelessness. Since 1910 the city mission of
Cleveland has provided the basic needs of food, shelter, and clothing to
those in crisis.

Although I have never stayed at the City Mission, I do Remember a time of
homelessness and a time in my own life where it was a struggle to make ends
meet, have money for transportation and to keep warm. So, It was an easy
decision to ask the Community Service Division to partner with the City
Mission of Cleveland.

After the members of Ohio’s Community Service reviewed the list of items
that were needed, we voted to contribute to the most needed items. Which
were twins’ sheets, twins’ blankets and all-day bus passes to assist
individuals to get to interviews and/or work.   Well Ohio members, family &
friends really stepped up to the call. We were able to collect $400 for
all-day bus passes and several large boxes filled with twin sheets sets and
blankets.   I was excited and happy to see the turn out. Knowing that
winter is approaching The Community Service Division of Ohio, and that we
were able to assist in reaching hearts & changing lives of those in crisis
in Cleveland, brought joy to my heart. It warmed my heart to know we
assisted in the basic needs and gave hope to an individual.”

*“There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting
people up.” *


Need to brush up on your holly jolly LOL-inducing humor around the
holidays? We’ve got the best gift in town, the gift of joy!

*Question*: What do grapes sing at Christmas?

*Answer*: 'Tis the season to be jelly! 🎵🎶🎼

*“Don’t think about it, laugh about it!”*


*International World Braille Day, January 4th*

Written by Colleen Roth, NFB Ohio

Today, audiobooks and the products that play them, like Amazon’s Alexa and
Apple’s iPhone, are more popular than ever. This has raised an important
question: In the age of audio-recorded literature and accessible
technology, is braille still necessary? Colleen Roth would jump up and down
and shout, YES, yes, yes!!!!

“Braille is such a blessing; it is absolutely necessary!”

Just as sighted readers have their preferences between paperback, digital
and, yes, audiobooks, so too do sight impaired readers, and many of them
simply prefer braille.

“In late August I was given a Romeo 25 Embosser by the Catholic Diocese in
Toledo, Ohio.  It produces Braille on 1 side of the page. This was the
beginning of my embossing journey as a service to Catholic Dioceses in
Ohio, and chapters and divisions within the Ohio affiliate.

Since I have started this service project, I have been blessed to emboss
materials such as liturgies, prayer group materials, chapter and division
constitutions, membership list, state convention auction, materials for
ordination of priests and deacons, and the list goes on.

I truly love Braille and will continue to provide this embossing service
for those in need. Further information along with my contact information is
provided below within the resource section of the newsletter.”

Thank you for your service, Colleen! And anyone that has had an opportunity
to spend time with you, undoubtably knows your love and passion for Braille

We hope everyone will join CSD on January 4, 2023 to honor Louis Braille’s
214th birthday, and celebrate the awareness of the importance of braille as
a means of communication in the full realization of the human rights for
blind and visually impaired people. After all, it was Helen Keller who
said, “the blind is as indebted to Louis Braille, the eponymous inventor of
the tactile reading system, as mankind is to Gutenberg and his printing

*"Braille is knowledge, and knowledge is power”*


*National MLK Day of Service, January 20th*

*Taking place each year on the third Monday in January, the Martin Luther
King, Jr., Day of Service (MLK Day) is the only federal holiday that is
also designated by Congress as a national day of service – a “day on, not a
day off.” Participation in service activities has grown each year as more
Americans are encouraged to provide meaningful change in their
communities.  Whether service meets a tangible need, such as fixing up a
school or senior center, builds a sense of community or mutual
responsibility. In a pandemic environment, service can take on the form of
sending a meal through a meal delivery service, serving as a virtual
mentor, or donating money to a charitable cause to help those who lack
basic essential items.*

*No matter the choice, service empowers individuals, strengthens
communities, bridges barriers, creates solutions and moves us closer to Dr.
King’s vision of a beloved community. It breaks down barriers by bringing
people from different backgrounds together and it benefits those who choose
to serve. Coretta Scott King said, “The greatest birthday gift my husband
could receive is if people of all racial and ethnic backgrounds celebrated
the holiday by performing individual acts of kindness through service to

*As stewards of America's lands and natural resources, the work we do at
DOI epitomizes Dr. King’s belief in the power of service, as expressed in
his legendary quote, “We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality,
tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects
all indirectly.” In keeping with Dr. King’s example, let us embrace the
belief that our destiny is shared and accept our obligations to each other,
future generations and the American people by strengthening the bonds that
hold together the most diverse Nation on earth.  Each one of us can help
answer his call by pledging to love and serve.*

*Which brings us to one incredible and humble man within our federation
that was recently recognized for answering the King’s pledge, as the 28th
annual winner of their Martin Luther King Freedom Award!*

*The Indiana Civil Rights Commission, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Indiana
Holiday Commission, Indiana Black Expo, Inc., AFSCME Local 725, and the
State of Indiana awarded NFB Newsline Indiana Director, Lee Martin, Senior
the Freedom Award.*

*The Freedom Award is granted to individuals or projects whose major

*influence includes breaking down barriers that have divided us in the past*

*and/or building ongoing relationships that foster respect, understanding,*

*and harmony in our community. And there is no one more deserving of this
award than our very own, Lee Martin!*

*“Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have
a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your
verb agree to serve. You don’t have to know the second theory of
thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A
soul generated by love.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.*


*Braille Technology Throughout the Ages: A Special Event for World Braille

by The Braillists Foundation

In addition to our collaboration with Sight and Sound Technology, we are
pleased to present an evening panel discussion for World Braille Day
focusing on braille technology: its past, present and future. We will be
joined by historians, people working in the braille technology industry
today and developers of the next generation of braille hardware and

The event will take place on Wednesday 4 January at 7:00 PM, and you will
need to register in advance. This is a separate registration link to both
our regular Masterclasses and the event with Sight and Sound. Please email:

help at braillists.org, if you have difficulties completing the form.

Register for the World Braille Day evening event here:


To join by phone, please use these details:

Phone number: 0131 460 1196

Meeting ID: 875 3606 7824

Passcode: 123456

*Embossing Projects*

Colleen Roth, NFB Ohio is willing to provide embossed materials for those
in need. Projects that are 300 pages or less are free. Projects that are
more than 300 pages will include a paper cost. All projects will be shipped
Free Matter For The Blind, unless the person wants to pay for faster
shipping. All materials will be embossed in English Braille American
Edition. To discuss Braille projects, please contact Colleen at (419)


We want to feature you in our next issue! Write about your personal
experience with your community service project and submit the article by
the first of the month.

We also want to help promote your community projects and state affiliate
events. Share your calendar with Beyond The Six Dots and we will feature
your events in the ‘Represent Your State’ section of our next issue.
Contact our editor to submit your calendar events and featured articles.
(The editor may edit the Length and/or wording of your article.)

*NFB Community Service Division*


President Jeanetta Price

Email: price.jeanetta at gmail.com

Mobile: (409) 344-1005

Newsletter Editor: Maggie Stringer

Email: Ravensfan784 at gmail.com

Mobile: (443) 750-0070


The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the
characteristic that defines you or your future. Every day we raise the
expectations of blind people because low expectations create obstacles
between blind people and our dreams. We are survivors!
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