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#9 Volunteer Work -

Millie enjoys her volunteer work at the library. Where? How does someone who is legally blind work in a library? Millie stamps new books, puts in the security tape, stamps old books that go out of circulation, removes bar codes and pockets, and puts pocket in books and paperbacks. These are just some of the jobs she can do by touch. Most libraries will gladly save these jobs for someone who is willing to work say two hours every Tuesday.

Millie loved to speak at the nursing home to residents with low vision. This monthly volunteer work started with an invitation to talk to the residents with low vision. The residents enjoyed her presentation so much they invited her back to talk about whatever she wanted to talk about. This became a monthly visit, known as “Visits with Millie.” Very often the group talked about
memories; for example, in November they talked about memorable Thanksgiving dinners. The presentations were so much fun that it soon expanded to residents who had no vision problems. When Millie asked the group what they would like to talk about the next month, they are full of ideas. Millie announced she will pick one idea and it will be a surprise.

Are you friendly and talkative? If the idea of speaking to a group is frightening, check with the front desk. Nursing homes always have residents who are lonely and wish they had company. Are you willing to sit and hold someone’s hand? Can you do this without conversation? Without saying a word, you can make someone’s day. For starters, they won’t feel so afraid or
alone.

The local low vision support group frequently asks Millie to make visits to those who are newly blind. She loves taking some of her low vision gadgets and answering questions.

When you have an interest in volunteering, keep your ears open for opportunities. Talk to friends about what they are doing, and ask if a blind person could help.

Do you have volunteer ideas? If you do, send them to me and I will share your first name (if you don’t mind) and your idea on this site.