Winter 2021 Newsletter
Celebrating Our Superheroes!
Image of a notepad on a keyboard. Text: New Year's Resolutions 1. eat healthy (scratched out) 2.Organize (scratched out) 4. Volunteer 5. Volunteer
Happy New Year!

A new year is a time to reflect on the past and make resolutions for the future.
 
As we look back on the last year, we are so grateful for our volunteers who not only supported MABVI clients throughout the year but also stepped up to provide critical support throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Since 1959, volunteers have been the heart and soul of our organization. Whether they helped deliver groceries, offered support as a tele-friend, or provided in-person support weekly, every small act has transformed someone's life.
 
As we look forward to 2021, what resolution are you going to keep?
We have an idea.

Resolve to Give Back — VOLUNTEER! Diets come and go—hitting the gym might not be for you—but volunteering is the resolution we will help you keep. MABVI is on your side. . Make an impact on someone's life and your own! sign up to be a volunteer today! For more information about MABVI's volunteer opportunities, click: HERE
Volunteering is Truly Rewarding For All
Every MABVI volunteer says the same thing.
"We get more than we give."
Mike on the left and Lily on the right. Both are wearing masks
"Volunteering means giving back to the community. The pandemic has hit us so hard this year and I love bringing some convenience and warmth back to the people around me like doing grocery shopping or just a quick weekly phone call or text. I feel joyful to feel his smile behind the mask.  He has become a great friend to me." - Lily
headshot of victoria
"I grocery shop once a month. We have a nice routine where I text and schedule my shopping trip for the first week of each month. I drop her items off back at her home, and we usually have a quick chat before I go. We both wear masks and I drop the groceries off outside her door, so the process is as COVID-safe as possible. It’s very gratifying and feels like a bonus to be able to take this off her plate each month!" – Victoria
headshot of Richard
Since I lost my vision, I have missed being out and talking to as many people as I used to. Between the pandemic and my blindness, I find volunteering within the MABVI community very satisfying and rewarding. I find every conversation with each TeleFriend different. Sometimes we talk about the good ole days growing up, or dealing with the pandemic, or other topics we find interesting." – Richard
headshot of Laura
"I have three individuals that I take grocery shopping. Two of them I take shopping every other week. These individuals are such a great source of inspiration to me. They have such a positive outlook on life! It's been a pleasure getting to know them. I highly recommend signing up to be a MABVI volunteer. It's incredibly fulfilling! There is a great need out there. There are so many ways one can help out the visually impaired individuals in our communities." - Laura (volunteer since 2019) 

Whether you volunteer in person or virtually -- the rewards are immeasurable for our volunteers and the people we serve. Listen here to Gayle and her volunteer Julia chatting about their successes using Skype and creative ingenuity to navigate working together throughout the pandemic.
Solving Public Transportation Challenges
Image: Man walking with white cane next to a train. Text: Community Transit Design Challenge BU Innovate and MABVI logos
Join us on January 28, from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM as we announce the finalists and winners of the Community Transit Design Challenge.

Celebrate the future of public transportation as the Massachusetts Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired announces the winner of the Boston University’s Innovate@BU Community Transit Design Challenge.


Through a unique partnership, Boston University’s Innovate@BU and MABVI joined forces and set out to solve community transit accessibility challenges. Teams made up of students and alumni were paired with mentors from the blind community to design new transportation accessibility solutions while competing for a $10,000 prize.

You are welcome to celebrate one of the country’s first accessibility student innovation challenges on January 28, from 4:00 pm - 5:00 PM.
Challenge finalists will present their solutions and one team will be rewarded the winner of the Community Transit Design Challenge.

Special guest presenter, Dr. Mona Minkara, an advocate for accessibility and representation for people with visual impairments in science, and winner of the prestigious Holman Prize for her documentary series Planes, Trains, and Canes, about navigating and access to public transportation systems of six cities around the world.

Master of Ceremony Bryan Gould, WGBH Director of Accessible Learning and Assessment Technologies and sighted guide for MABVI's Team With A Vision. Bryan has been conducting blindness-related research and development projects for over 20 years.

Going the Distance for United in Stride and Team With A Vision
Image: Silhouette of runners, one with a guide, over an image representing coast to coast Text: Coast 2 Coast Distance Challenge April 1-30, 2021 United ins Stride and MABVI logos
Without a Boston Marathon to run this April, we wanted to find a way to bring our running and guide community together. We are pleased to announce the Coast 2 Coast Distance Challenge. During the month of April, join Team with A Vision and United in Stride, programs of the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired for walking and running distance challenge across the country, a great opportunity to bring us all together and get us moving! This month-long challenge will unite our global community of runners, walkers, guides, and volunteers together. We want this virtual challenge to inspire people of all ages and abilities across the U.S. to keep fit and have fun! We hope you will join Team With A Vision this Spring as we add up the miles and landmarks across the United States. You can find more details HERE.
COVID-19 Community Resources
Man with mask delivering groceries
If social distancing is making you feel isolated, there are resources to help you connect with others. MABVI has compiled a comprehensive list of blindness and low vision resources and services available state-wide, including lists of organizations, access to news and reading materials, access technology, health and wellness, and a list of community-based resources and services, including here at MABVI.

  • Blind and Visually Impaired COVID-19 Resources 
  • COVID-19 Community Resources
  • Sign up for a MABVI Tele-friend volunteer opportunity. Call us at 888-613-2777. This NEW program connects you to a volunteer for fun & friendly conversation.
  • Vaccine Information The state of Massachusetts is preparing for the safe, equitable, and effective delivery of the COVID-19 vaccine. You can learn more and when you can expect to get vaccinated, HERE.

It’s a challenging time but we’re here to help.
www.mabvi.org I 888-613-2777