[Community-Service] March 2023 Quarterly Newsletter

Maggie Stringer ravensfan784 at gmail.com
Wed Mar 15 20:00:00 UTC 2023

*“Beyond the Six Dots”*

National Federation of the Blind Community Service Division

March 2023 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!


Reflections by Daria Bannerman

On a chilly, but beautifully sunny Monday morning, I spent the day
volunteering at Fayetteville Urban Ministries.

Fayetteville Urban Ministry is a nonprofit organization located in
Fayetteville, North Carolina, and provides assistance with food, clothing,
utility assistance, and employee readiness services.

When I arrived at FUM, I was greeted with such wonderful, warm, and
friendly volunteers who were just like me, ready to serve!

My first task was to proudly sign my name as a volunteer. Once that was
completed, next was to meet my team members, and see where we would roll up
our sleeves and work together to sort and organize the clothes closet. Once
assignments were issued, the director of the organization led everyone
outside to provide a little background on their growing organization. One
of the fun facts I learned, this local organization has been around for
over forty years! And they have been providing services to over ten
thousand people in Fayetteville! I can’t tell you how much that touched my
heart. Although the cold Winter air was trying to rattle our bones, the
intoxicating spirit of gratitude and willingness to serve others, kept
everyone warm and smiles bright.

FUM has a monthly event called Service Saturdays, where members of the
community can volunteer one Saturday a month. However, on this special
Monday, the dedicated organization wanted to observe Reverend Dr. Martin
Luther King Jr. Day of Service.

It was beautiful to see people of all ages volunteering to help organize
the food pantry and sort through all of the donated clothing. Everyone came
together to work along with other strangers, communicated about everyday
life, and discovered creative solutions as a team. I definitely plan to
return as a volunteer and have already set my next visit for March 25th.

I strongly encourage all of you to find a way to serve in your local
communities, in whichever way you can. And remember, you can still
participate in virtual opportunities, as well as in-person. When your heart
is in the right place, the impact you will have on others, will last a

*“Everybody can be great because everybody 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 only need a heart full of grace, a soul
generated by love.” *by Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

***If you have recently served within your community, share your experience
with us. Write a reflection and send it to our editor by email.***


Our days will start getting longer, flowers will begin to bloom, and the
sweetness of warmer weather allows us to spend more time enjoying the great
outdoors. Make sure to grab your sunglasses and share our awesome chuckles
wherever you go!

Question: How do you know flowers are friendly?

Answer: They always have new bugs!!!!

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


We Really Got It Poppin’ In 2023!

Written by Daria Bannerman

>From the bottom of our enormous hearts, the Community Service Division and
the Willing Workers’ Committee would like to thank you so much for allowing
this poptastic Double Good popcorn fundraiser to be a popin’ success!
Because of your love for the Butter Believe It, The main Cheese, and Sweet
and Salty, we were able to raise over $17,000!!!!!

Our division will be able to use these essential funds to assist with
community service projects, as well as, providing scholarships for people
who are blind and visually impaired to reach their desired goals and
dreams. Thank you, again, for your generous support, and thank you, Gloria,
for organizing this fantastic popcorn fundraiser!

We hope, *EVERYONE*, will pop with us in 2024!

*“Here's to those who inspire us and don't even know it."* by Anonymous


2021 CSD Fundraiser

Written by Jeanetta Price

Every year the National Federation of the Blind Community Service Division
participates in a community service project during the exciting days of our
national convention.  Our 2021 partnership benefited Ronald McDonald House
Charities of Maryland.  This is a home away from home for seriously ill
children and their families.  There were two activities we had taken part
in for our community service projects. We wrote notes of encouragement to
the families and children staying at the Ronald McDonald House. We also
provided comfort to the families and children by collecting over 100 new

Our service project was a success, because of our federation family, and
friends beyond the six dots! Often, we as blind individuals are denied
opportunities to serve due to low expectations and lack of knowledge of
blindness. When given the opportunity, we will exceed all expectations.
With honor, we share the reflection from Kim Davis, Director of
Volunteers, Ronald McDonald House.

“Looking back on working with the National Federation of the Blind makes my
heart very happy. Jeanetta first reached out to me asking to team up and
work together a month or back and I thought, of course we want to do this!
But little did I know how above and beyond this amazing group of people
would go! Everyone came together and put a lot of effort into getting us
items that we need around the Ronald McDonald House that help make the
families that stay with us more comfortable and feel at Home. These items
are so important to us and the families here at RMH. So having a group of
people willing to come together to get us blankets, toiletry kits, snack
bags, notes of encouragement, and just overall love and support was
absolutely amazing. We really felt the love! We knew to be expecting these
items for delivery, but let me tell you, when they came in, we were truly
over joyed by the outcome. You could tell so much love and support were put
into the project. Everything was so nice and cute and perfectly packaged
for us to hand out to the families. The blankets were adorable and cozy. We
were so insanely excited to get everything to the families because we knew
they were going to love everything as much as we did. And of course, the
Notes of Encouragement, including some with braille was just so special. I
felt like it really connected the groups together. You never know what
others are going through but being able to learn about and support others
even when you're going through something difficult is just so beautiful.
This idea really touched my heart as I'm sure it did with our families here
as well. And we can't forget about the wonderful CSD seminar. The energy
was electric. I was smiling the whole time. So much happiness and joy and
love. What an amazing and wonderful group of people!! I am
so so so grateful for everything the National Federation of the Blind did
for RMH Maryland. We are so appreciative and grateful for the support you
all provided to us. We can't thank you enough. We love you!”

It Gets Bigger & Better Every Year!

2022 CSD Fundraiser

Written by Stacie Leap

I have been participating for the past two years and this year marks three!
They say third time is a charm and I hope that this fundraiser is more
successful than previous years. I remember in my first year thinking that I
would not do it. I thought about how many people might not like popcorn or
might turn it down because there are so many different fundraisers for
every cause. I was very mistaken. A lot of my friends sent it to their
friends and I was able to raise a little over $300 of my $500 goal. I,
myself, bought some popcorn to see how it taste and oh my goodness! it was
really amazing. I enjoyed every flavor so far but my favorite flavors are
Caramel DM and Sargent Salt and Pepper. The titles are so catchy and it
made a lot of my friends smile! You Butter Believe It was nothing I
expected. I definitely told myself, "Sweety, You Salty" 😊

During the second year, I surpassed my goal! I was so hype! I started to
get into a flow of how and when to advertise the fundraiser. A lot of my
supporters came back and asked me when I am doing it again. I even noticed
that they increased their quantities from last year.

The excitement around the fundraiser was definitely exhilarating. All of
the people who made a store had a friendly competition but yet we all
encouraged each other to push our limits and never stop! Even though it was
virtual, it was definitely the best fundraiser I experienced.

All of the funds went back to our division. In 2021, we used the money to
make care boxes and blankets for the Ronald McDonald house. Last year, we
provided a barbeque for the children of Covenant House in New Orleans,
Louisiana. We had a luncheon with our Willing Workers Committee as a thank
you for all their hard work. also gave back to our members, providing them
with a stipend so they can attend and enjoy our 2022 national convention.
We even gave an opportunity for a family to attend convention for the first
time. Service is definitely placed in the heart of all our CSD Willing
Workers and I expect much more love, service, and commitment.

A special shout-out to Gloria Nathan-Cherry, our Popcorn lady, for bringing
this idea to the Community Service Division and for encouraging all of us
to do it! Also, hats off to our Popcorn Kim, Marvin, who has sold the most
popcorn in all three years. All kernels bow down to you sir!

*"Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by
people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all." *by
Dale Carnegie


National Stress Awareness Month

Written by Kanya Harris

Stress! Stress! Stress!  How many of us have it?

Stress! Stress! Stress! How many ways to combat it?

Stress! Stress! Stress! Let me count the ways…

Here are my Top 10 Peachy tips to debunk the stressful day to day
situations; don’t throw in the towel or pull your hair out!

1.   Find your inner peace for starters. When you find it protect it at all
cost.   Never let anything or anyone shake your foundation or take your

2.  Daily affirmations.  Speak positivity over your day. Cast out all
negativity. “No matter what my day is going to be Great!”

3.  Take a walk. Walk away gather your thoughts and center your being.
It’s perfectly ok to take a time out rather than POP a blood vessel.

4.  Channel that emotion find something peaceful like journal writing,
listening to your favorite music, or reading a good book such as The Write
2 Heal.

5.  Pray to the Highest for peace, a positive mind set, and to allow love
in without resistance.

6.  Yep, I will eat that donut, cookie, and/or cake anyway it will make me
feel better I don’t know about you it works for me

 At the end of the day the last four are the E’s to my peace. Evaluate the
situation, Eliminate the source, Encourage myself, and I will Enjoy all the
days of my Life and keep all my hair. HAHA!!!

*“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."* by Theodore


National Volunteer Week & Global Volunteer Month

April 16th to April 22nd of 2023

National Volunteer Week takes place every April during Global Volunteer
Month. We encourage each person, and all groups, committees, chapters,
divisions, and every affiliate to take part in National Volunteer Week. It
is an opportunity to recognize and support the profound impact on the act
of serving others. As a volunteer, there is tremendous power in being able
to tackle society’s greatest challenges, to build stronger communities, and
be a force that transforms the world.

Every year, the Community Service Division challenges all of its members,
along with friends and families to lend their time, talents, and voice to
make a difference in their communities.

Post your upcoming Volunteer Week & Global Volunteer Month opportunities on
our Facebook page:


Share all of your upcoming volunteer opportunities on our email list:

community-service at nfbnet.org

We hope all of you, plus the person to your left, and the person to your
right, will celebrate 2023 Volunteer Week the CSD way, with





& Love!

*“If you want to touch the past, touch a rock. If you want to touch the
present, touch a flower. If you want to touch the future, touch a life.” * by


National Mother’s Day, Celebrating An Out of Sight Mother

Written by Carol King-Ries

Recently, I had the privilege of interviewing Stacie Leap, an extraordinary
woman and mother who through the darkest time of her life, was guided back
into the light by a little shining star named Alana.  In 2016, Stacie found
out that she was pregnant, but she was also in a long-term abusive
relationship that she desperately wanted to leave.  When she was two months
pregnant, her boyfriend beat her so severely that she lost her vision, and
her neck was broken.  She could not have surgery because they feared
whether the baby would survive, so she had to go through the first part of
her pregnancy wearing a large neck brace to prevent her from damaging her
spinal cord and possibly becoming paralyzed or dying.  According to Stacie,
these were dark times for her.  She was in pain, depressed, and very afraid
about what would happen to her and the baby. However, due to concern for
her baby, she asked for help.  Albert Einstein Medical Center found a place
for her to rehab from her physical injuries, they got her some mental
health counseling, and they provided her with a doula.  A doula is a woman,
without obstetric training, who provides experienced guidance and support
to a woman during her pregnancy.  This proved to be a good and empowering
decision.  Stacie ended up having life-threatening complications which
caused her to have a c-section, and her daughter was born prematurely.
Both Stacie and Alana were in the hospital for 19 days recovering from the
premature birth.  Thankfully, Alana had no lasting complications from the
birth, and her presence became the light that would help to pull Stacie out
of the darkness.

Stacie remained depressed after her baby was born.  She only got out of bed
to feed Alana, and to take care of her.  Her doula came by every day and
came up with all kinds of “out of sight” tricks to help her learn to care
for her baby as a blind woman.  This included techniques to do things like
prepare formula, to bathe the baby, and to wash her baby’s clothes.  Stacie
became comfortable with her role and responsibilities, and she was able to
care for her child without the help of the doula.  However, she was still
depressed.  But, once again the draw of the shining star, Alana, brought
someone else into her life.

Stacie was a person who volunteered in the community before she lost her
sight.  One of the people she volunteered with heard that she was in poor
physical health, and that she just had a baby.  That person came to visit
her, and according to Stacie, she was still a crying, depressed mess.  She
told Stacie she would come back the next day, and she continued to come
back to help Stacie and Alana.  She eventually became one of Stacie’s best
friends and Alana’s godmother.

Due to her vocational rehabilitation, Stacie heard about and joined the NFB
of Pennsylvania and became active in the Keystone Chapter and the
affiliate.  She started a blind parent’s group because she was unable to
find one anywhere, and her need became her mission. This group meets via
Zoom every third Saturday of the month.  They have discussed the book “The
7 Habits of Highly Effective Families” and have had a guest speaker series
that discussed positive parenting.  They also discuss health issues and had
a speaker from Accessible Pharmacy to discuss safe administration of
medicines to children.  If you are interested in participating in this
group, which consist of people from all over the United States and Canada,
contact Stacie at stacie.leap at gmail.com.  Stacie also participates in the
Pennsylvania Association of Blind Students, the Pennsylvania Organization
of Parents of Blind Children, and she was recently name to the National
Federation of the Blind Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee.  She
also volunteers at her daughter’s school.  Her community service is
exemplary, and she stands out whatever she does.

Did you know that Stacie’s last name, Leap, means lucky in the Cambodian
language?  When Alana was in Kindergarten, Stacie met a woman on Clubhouse,
a social media app, while she was discussing the lack of accessibility in
school apps and websites.  Because of this encounter, Stacie was hired as
an accessibility support specialist for her Tech company.  Her advocacy for
Alana guided her to her new vocation!  Stacie’s favorite quote is from 2
Corinthians 5:7 in the Bible… She walks by faith, and not by sight, and
this faith walk has led her to some incredible opportunities.

She was one of the original authors of the Write 2 Heal Anthology, a book
featuring the work of eight out of sight authors telling their story their
way.  Her chapter is entitled “Leap of Faith”.  If you would like to hear
more about Stacie’s story in her own words, the book can be purchased on
Amazon and is also on Audible.  Stacie’s story, like all the others, is
extraordinary and empowering.

When I asked Stacie what her biggest hopes for the future are, she said
that she does not want any blind parents to lose their children due solely
to the fact that they are blind.  She wants to advocate for legislation and
programs to prevent this from ever happening again.  When Alana was 4, her
abusive boyfriend came back into her life threatening to sue for custody of
her daughter because she was blind, and he alleged that she could not take
care of her.  She also wants to continue to instill in Alana, the shining
star that led her out of darkness that she is worthy of love, and that the
greatest love she will ever find comes from within herself, right where God
put it.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the out of sight mothers and mothers to be!

*“Mother is a verb. It's something you do. Not just who you are." *by Cheryl
Lacey Donovan


International Women’s History Month

An Interview with Stephanae McCoy

Contributed by the American Printing House

In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re learning about women making a
difference who also have a visual impairment. We interviewed Stephanae
McCoy about how losing her sight led to her founding her own business, Bold
Blind Beauty.

Meet Stephanae

Stephanae’s sight loss journey spanned over four years. It began with the
development of a macular hole, which led to further complications and
eventually a glaucoma diagnosis. After many pokes, prods, and laser
surgeries, Stephanae’s sight deteriorated, and she was declared legally

Founding Bold Blind Beauty

Stephanae decided to create Bold Blind Beauty when she was asked to give a
presentation on makeup for a group of women who were blind and had low
vision. Unable to find information about the topic online, Stephanae
created the presentation based on her own process of applying makeup.

“There was such a great discussion afterward I knew I had to do something
to address the void in this area,” said Stephanae. “Bold Blind Beauty began
as a blog to empower women on the blindness spectrum. It has since evolved
into an advocacy platform that demystifies blindness through storytelling
and the celebration of our diverse and inclusive community through
empowerment, connection, and barrier-breaking.”

Today, Bold Blind Beauty offers several services. One of these services,
The Beyond Sight Magazine, aims to highlight members of the blindness
community through storytelling. Other services offered are the Virtual Work
Experience Program for high school/college students with disabilities,
InSIGHT Through Inclusion Speaker Series, Ambassador Program, and the Bold
Blind Beauty On A.I.R. Podcast.

The Impact of Bold Blind Beauty: Q&A with Stephanae

Q: The mission of Bold Blind Beauty is to “improve humanity by changing the
way we perceive one another.” Why is this mission important to you?

A: The mission is so important to me because people are important. From the
time I was very young, I recognized I was different simply because of the
color of my skin. Today, as a woman over 60 with an acquired disability, I
am intimately aware of what discrimination feels like. Because of my lived
experience, I firmly believe that no one wants, or deserves, to be reduced.

People who are perceived as different have to justify their existence
because other people and systems refuse to accept them as they are.
Everyone has biases, and it’s up to us…to acknowledge our bigotry and work
on ourselves. This work isn’t easy, and…we need to leave our assumptions at
the door so that we can learn to fully embrace people without judgment. The
work of changing perceptions begins within each of us, and it’s ongoing.

Q: How does the mission of Bold Blind Beauty benefit the blindness

A: The mission benefits the blindness community because we believe everyone
has value. By sharing our stories, we prove to the world that even though
we are on the blindness spectrum, this doesn’t prevent us from being
productive members of society. We simply move through the world a little
differently, and this is our superpower.

Q: What does beauty look like to you?

A: Beauty looks like courage to me. Having the courage to be uniquely me is

Q: Can you tell us about the acronyms A.I.R. and BLIND? How have these
acronyms helped change people’s perceptions of blindness?

A: A.I.R. stands for Access, Inclusion, and Representation. These are the
main themes on Bold Blind Beauty, which is why we created the podcast Bold
Blind Beauty On A.I.R. Everyone needs air to survive. People with
disabilities need A.I.R. to survive and thrive. BLIND = Bold Leaders
Illuminating New Directions. This acronym was our positive take on the word
“blind.” Anyone can be a Bold Leader Illuminating New Directions.

Q: How do you hope Bold Blind Beauty impacts the future history for women
who are blind?

A: It’s my hope that women who are on the blindness spectrum and are making
huge moves will become more largely recognized.

Q: What do you hope people will take away or learn from visiting your

A: I hope that people will take away the idea that appreciating differences
and accepting people where they are is at the heart of humanity. When we
take the time to stop, listen, and learn from others’ lived experiences,
the tapestry of life becomes more enriched. Many of us look at adventurers
and risk-takers as bold people. However, depending on where we are in our
stories, being bold can be something as simple as getting out of bed. For
onlookers, it takes a bold person to open their hearts and minds to
understand that differences are beautiful.

*“Outer beauty attracts, but inner beauty captivates.”* by Kate Angell


National Memorial Day

Contributed by Rachel Levitt

On Monday, May 29th, 2023, we will remember the brave men and women who
made the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country. Presidents,
politicians, public figures and foreign dignitaries will lay wreaths on
thousands of tombs of the Unknown soldiers in Arlington National Cemetery.
As we remember and honor our heroes, we want to count our blessings and
stand proud of our service members.

This Memorial Day, we invite you to take a moment of silence *at 3:00*PM
EST as we remember those who courageously gave their lives.

We also want to provide a few additional ideas on how you, your friends,
neighbors, and family, can all honor this upcoming Memorial Day:

1. Take a Walk Through Your Local Veterans Cemetery

Most states have national veterans’ cemeteries where you can pay a visit
and honor the fallen. Many cemeteries might have adjusted hours or be only
open to family members, but this varies across the country.

2. Brush Up on Your Memorial Day Knowledge

Many people easily confuse Memorial Day with Veterans Day or other military
holidays. You can refresh your memory on the difference between these
holidays in five minutes or less.

3. Participate in a Memorial Day Walk or Running Race

There are many annual Memorial Day weekend running races – virtual or
in-person – and you can participate in one of these races in your local
community as a way to honor the fallen. From 5Ks to half marathons, there
are plenty of options available through run-hosting organizations across
the country – all it takes to find them is a quick internet search!

4. Learn About Gold Star Families

The designation “Gold Star Family” is reserved for families of military
members who have died in the line of duty. This title is meant to honor the
service member’s ultimate sacrifice while acknowledging their family’s
loss, grief and continued healing. Spend a few moments this weekend
learning about Gold Star Families in honor of Memorial Day.

5. Investigate Your Family’s Military History

When is the last time you asked family members about their connection to
the U.S. military? Their answers might surprise you! Spend a few moments
this weekend talking to relatives about family members that have served in
the military.

6. Watch the National Memorial Day Parade

While this annual tradition will be closed in-person to the public, it will
be filmed and aired on television for families all across the nation to
enjoy on major broadcast networks, including ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox. Check
your TV listings to find the airtime of the program near you.

7. Virtually Visit a War Memorial in D.C.

In 2019, the USO headed out throughout the capital region and captured
360-degree videos of several D.C.-area war memorials, including the World
War II Memorial and the Vietnam Memorial.

8. Try a CrossFit Hero Workout from the Comfort of your Home

Often referred to as a WOD (Workout of the Day) in the CrossFit community,
these Hero WODs are designed to commemorate a fallen war hero and can be a
healthy way to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our

One of the popular hero workouts to tackle on Memorial Day weekend is the
“Murph,” named in honor of Medal of Honor recipient Lt. Michael Murphy, who
died in the line of duty in 2005 alongside two fellow Navy SEALs. To
complete the workout, participants must run 1 mile; do 100 pull ups, 200
pushups and 300 squats; and run another mile – all while wearing a weighted
vest or body armor.

9. Learn about the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Arguably Arlington National Cemetery’s most iconic memorial, the white
stone sarcophagus is guarded 365 days a year, 24 hours a day and honors the
unidentified soldiers who have given the ultimate sacrifice.

10. Watch a Movie About the U.S. Military

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of movies about life in the U.S.
military. From movies about World War II to memoirs of Vietnam, spend some
time on Memorial Day weekend watching a film that pays tribute to the
service men and women who have sacrificed for the nation.

*“Remember Freedom has a Price. Remember Freedom is not free. Remember
those who served. All gave some, Some gave all.”* Anonymous


To learn more about American Printing House, visit,

*https://www.aph.org/* <https://www.aph.org/>

To learn more about Bold Blind Beauty, visit,

*https://boldblindbeauty.com/* <https://boldblindbeauty.com/>

Do you know a blind or visually impaired wounded warrior or veteran?

Operation Freedom Bell, Changing What It Means To Be Blind

Operation Freedom Bell provides rehabilitation services in an NFB training
center. The rehabilitation training is a six-to-nine-month residential
program.  Blind or visually impaired wounded warriors participate in
intensive one-on-one and group training to learn blindness skills needed
for independence. For more information, please visit:



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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