My name is Katie Hart and I am currently an undergraduate senior at the University of Georgia. I have been running most of my life- 4 years of varsity cross country in high school and 2 years of club cross country at UGA. I like running because it helps me relieve stress, allows me to stay fit and enables me to connect with a community everywhere I go. So now, a small town southern girl is heading to Boston.
I joined a sorority my freshman year (Delta Gamma) and had not even the slightest idea about how much it would impact my life. Our philanthropy, Service for Sight, is something I instantly fell in love with. After 4 years of seeing how almost 300 girls can come together and impact so many lives, I decided I need to take it to the next level. I wanted to do more. This year I went out on a limb and submitted an application to be a charity runner in the Boston Marathon. I was fully aware of the magnitude of this event; I knew my chances were slim but I still had to take a shot at it. After half a second of looking at the charities one caught my eye: Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (MABVI). This was right in line with Service for Sight and I immediately filled out an application.
I have been so graciously chosen to be a charity runner in the 2019 Boston Marathon for Team With A Vision. I plan on using this opportunity to educate, inspire and raise awareness for eye and vision health. With your donation, you are directly impacting the lives of many. MABVI provides support groups, technology and other health assistance to those who are blind or visually impaired.
Thank you for reading- it means a lot!
Here are some ways your dollars make a difference among the individuals we serve and our programs at the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired...
*$30 supports 1 hour of Assistive Technology (AT) support with a trained and experienced AT Vibrant Volunteer.
*$40 pays for 1 Volunteers With Vision visit for an individual who is blind or visually impaired. Our volunteers provide support through reading mail, grocery shopping, and other everyday tasks.
*$48 buys 1 talking clock for an individual who is blind or visually impaired.
*$52 provides 1 white cane for a year so that an individual may scan their surroundings for obstacles or orientation marks, but is also helpful for other traffic participants in identifying the user as blind or visually impaired and taking appropriate care.
*$60 gives the gift of 1 magnifier for an individual who is blind or visually impaired.
*$150 covers 1 visit from our trained and certified Orientation and Mobility Specialists (COMS) to individuals who are blind or visually impaired. Together, specific strategies and skills are implemented for safe, efficient, and effective travel in both indoor and outdoor environments. Some of the skills that are taught include:
- Searching skills: locating items or places efficiently
- Sighted guide: using another person to aid in travel
- Protective techniques: specific skills which provide added protection in unfamiliar areas
- Use of public transportation
- Long cane skills: use of various cane techniques to clear one's path or to locate objects along the way
*$250 provides free medical transportation to appointments for an individual who is blind or visually impaired for one year.
*$500 supports our Volunteers for Vision program for 1 year in recruiting and training volunteers.
*$1,000 provides the opportunity for our Jr Team With A Vision to race in the B.A.A. 5K. This includes race entry fees, tech gear, volunteer recruitment for training sessions, and transportation.
*$2,500 finances our Richard Hunter CIM to Boston Running in Excellence Award. For the last 2 years, we have awarded an exceptional athlete who has qualified for the Boston Marathon in the Visually Impaired Division, but not participated yet! This incredible opportunity provides race entry fee, travel stipend, and hotel accommodations for a male and female athlete who is blind or visually impaired!
*$5,000 covers 1 year of monthly mobile trainings for 15-20 individuals who are blind or visually impaired to utilize our Vibrant AT centers.
*$10,000 provides equipment and staffing to train 30-40 individuals who are blind or visually impaired for a year on ios phones, laptops, mobile apps, etc.