GIVESTL DAY – A National Day of Giving


Today is GiveSTL Day! It’s a day set aside for non-profit organizations to appeal for donations. As with all non-profits at the moment, donations are down, investments are down and that reflects in the services non-profits can provide to clients.

The Service Club for the Blind is no different and the stock market crash and reduction in donations has affected us too resulting in a freeze on adding new members and clients, a temporary freeze on all our programs and furloughing staff due to to the Coronavirus COVID-19.

In this regard, we appeal to you to help us get back on track and be able to open up our programs for the benefit of our clients. Please consider donating today via the link below and contributing to a successful GiveSTL Day. We thank you for your involvement. Please stay safe and healthy! #WashYourHands

https://www.givestlday.org/ServiceClub

Office closed until further notice


Please note that due to the Coronavirus COVID-19, the Service Club for the Blind’s office will be closed from Thursday April 2nd until further notice. Our clientele consists mostly of people who could be highly compromised by the disease and those most highly at risk. We will strive to remain disease-free and avoid risking contamination to any of our clients or members.

Clients will continue to have their monthly grocery cards mailed to them each month until further notice. All other programs have been suspended.

Staff have been furloughed but will volunteer to check phone messages and emails daily and ensure the grocery cards are mailed each month. If you need to contact us, please leave a message on voicemail or email info@serviceclubfortheblind.org and someone will contact you.

Please continue to adhere to the City, State and Federal order to stay home until this crisis has ended. We wish you good health and hope to resume all our programs soon.


Service Club for the Blind will be closed for 2 weeks


The Service Club for the Blind is committed to ensuring the health and well-being of our clients, members and staff. In this regard, and with the concern of the present spread of the Coronavirus COVID-19, a decision has been made to postpone all Service Club related events/socials and close the office for 2 weeks.

Our office will be closed with immediate effect and re-open on Monday March 30th at 7.30am.

As always, we request that our clients call the office before collecting their cards.

We will keep you informed of further changes via email, social media, and our website www.serviceclubfortheblind.org. Our emails will be monitored, and we will be checking the voicemail. Staff will be working from home.

Thank you for your understanding and patience. Please take care and stay healthy.

Kind regards,
Jesuita Tabor, President
Service Club for the Blind


“Sock-It-To-Me” sock drive update


Thank you so much to everyone who donated socks to our sock drive in aid of Marygrove in December.

Celita and I delivered the socks on Friday January 17th and they totally filled the trunk of my car. At last count we had 716 pairs of socks to donate to them. They were THRILLED and so very thankful for your generosity.

We hope to continue with our charity drive this year and hope you will join us in giving back to the community.

“It’s far more blessed to give than to receive”


This was just one overflowing box of socks.  There were many others!


Welcome our 3 new Board Members


Kerry Smith

I graduated from Trinity International University in Deerfield Illinois. I received a BA degree in Social Science in 1980.

I came to Missouri in 1990 and started working as a Customer Service Representative for Pizza Hut for 6 years. In 1999 I decided to attend Missouri College where I received my Computer Office Certificate. Then in 2001 started my own Braille Transcription business. Went to work in 2010 I worked for the American Red Cross as a Tele Recruiter. When the call center closed I began to work for Paraquad as a Peer Consultant.

I have volunteered as Director of Lutheran Blind Outreach for 15 years. Taught the basics of computers at Camp Yorktown Bay in Mountain Pine Arkansas. As of this year I am a board member for United Workers for the Blind.
I am also a board member of the national Braille Revival League.

As board member of the Service Club for the Blind I will be supportive of the needs of the members and clients in upholding the mission of the organization.

Peggy Smith

I believe that blind people have so much more potential than opportunity or society allow us to express.  The Service Club for the Blind should continue helping its members to be seen by the larger community in a positive light through its services, programs and influence.

The Service Club should be used to support its members and therefore making a better and more tolerant world for us all to live.

I have previously been a cheer leading coach, a Girl Scout leader for 15 years and a foster parent for 15 years. I worked for the Missouri School for the Blind for 20 years teaching elementary vocational studies and have been the President of Midtown Lions and the President of United Workers for the Blind. I also volunteer at my church helping to cook desserts for a homeless group.

Rhonda Jones

I hope that by serving on the Service Club Board, I can enhance, enrich and empower the lives of others through my service and that’s my way of giving back to people who’ve given so much to me.


Friends, Romans, Countrymen – send me your socks…!


‘Tis the season for giving! Please join The Service Club for the Blind in collecting NEW socks for Marygrove this season.

Marygrove has been in operation for over 170 years and are based in Florissant. They are a home for kids who’ve been through multiple, failed placements in other residential facilities/foster homes. Many come from abusive, violent, disruptive situations and most are diagnosed with behavioral and psychotic disorders as a result of abuse and neglect. Marygrove is one of the largest therapeutic residential treatment programs n Missouri. They have 200 residents and they enrich over 1,100 young people each year.

The Service Club for the Blind is running a “Sock-It-To-Me” sock drive from now until December 16th 2019. We will be accepting NEW socks for children aged 5-18 – boys/girls, men/women, plain/patterned. Please bring the donations to the Service Club for the Blind, 3719 Watson Rd., St. Louis, MO 63109 (socks can be mailed too!). We have even received socks that people have purchased on Amazon and had mailed to us!

Our office is open Monday – Thursday from 7.30am – 3pm. Socks can also be dropped off at Royal Banks of Missouri at 3534 Watson Rd if our office is closed, and we will collect them.

We thank you tremendously in advance for any donations we receive. Help us keep some feet warm this winter.


Service Club Announcements


As we approach the end of the year we have several announcements to share with you.

We are delighted to announce that we will once again be holding our “Sock-It-To-Me” sock drive in aid of the children at the Marygrove Residential facility in Florissant, MO – www.marygrovechildren.org. Marygrove enriches the lives of children who have come from violent and abusive backgrounds and over 1,100 children are cared for each year. We will be collecting all kinds of socks for children aged 5-18 years of age, for boys, girls, ladies and men’s socks. The Sock-It-To-Me drive will start on November 1st and run through December 16th. All socks can be delivered to the Service Club office any time we are open – Monday – Thursday, 7.30am – 3pm.

We will be having our annual Christmas Shopping day on Monday, December 2nd 2019 from 9am – noon. This is the day we will have volunteers available to help you shop. Thereafter you will be able to shop any day we are open from 9am – noon until Thursday, December 12th. There will be no layaways and payment is expected at the time of purchase.

Attention Braille users: The Service Club for the Blind has, in the past, provided its clients and members a free copy of a Braille calendar every year. These are no longer available in bulk to us. In this regard, if you’d like a 2020 Braille calendar, please call the American Action Fund at 410-659-9315 to request a free one from them. They will send you a maximum of 3 calendars. You can also send an email to actionfund@actionfund.org to request them. The Service Club does have stock of large print calendars available.

Please be advised that the Service Club will be closed for business from noon on Thursday, December 19th and will re-open for business on Thursday January 2nd.

Please remember that there is a possibility that the office would be closed during inclement winter weather. If the office is closed we will ensure that a message is recorded on the answering machine to advise you. A general rule of thumb is that if the public schools are closed, we will most likely be closed as we’d hate for you to be involved in any weather-related accident.

We would like to wish you and your families a happy Thanksgiving and as we move into the festive season, please stay safe.


Legal Blindness


Do you know what the term “legal blindness” really means? Legally Blind is a legal term used to define blindness as it pertains to being able to qualify for benefits.

Legal blindness is a level of visual impairment that has been defined by law either to limit allowed activities (such as driving) for safety reasons or to determine eligibility for government-funded disability benefits in the form of educational, service, or monetary assistance.

To be considered legally blind, your visual acuity must be 20/200 or worse in your better eye while you are wearing corrective lenses.
The United States Social Security Administration (SSA) defines legal blindness as follows:

Reduced central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in your better eye with use of the best eyeglass lens to correct your eyesight; or, Limitation of your field of view such that the widest diameter of the visual field in your better eye subtends an angle no greater than 20 degrees.

Legally Blind due to Reduced Central Visual Acuity
What does being legally blind due to “reduced central visual acuity of 20/200 or less” mean?

In the United States, clarity of eyesight almost always is expressed by a measurement system called Snellen visual acuity.

In this system, you identify smaller and smaller letters on an eye chart, and the results are expressed as a fraction standardized for a viewing distance of 20 feet.


(Picture of the Snellen Eye Chart)

If you have 20/20 Snellen visual acuity, this means the smallest letters you can discern from a distance of 20 feet (the first number in the fraction) are the same size as the smallest letters a person with historically defined “normal vision” can see at a distance of 20 feet (the second number in the fraction).

But if you have 20/200 visual acuity, the smallest letters you can identify from a distance of 20 feet are the size of the smallest letters a person with historically defined “normal vision” can see from a much greater distance — 200 feet, in this case.

So your central vision — the part of your eyesight you use to see and identify objects you are looking directly at — is much worse (10 times worse, in fact) than that of a normally sighted person.

Important: In order for you to be considered legally blind, your visual acuity must be 20/200 or worse in your better eye while you are wearing corrective lenses. So how poorly you see without your glasses or contact lenses when you get out of bed in the morning has nothing to do with it.

As long as your vision can be corrected to better than 20/200 with glasses or contacts, you are not considered legally blind, no matter how much nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism you have.

Also, if your best corrected vision in one eye is worse than 20/200, but you can see better than 20/200 with corrective lenses with your other eye, you are not considered legally blind.

Legally Blind Due To Visual Field Restriction
Visual acuity tests measure the clarity of your central vision. However, some people can see small letters on an eye chart, but can’t see the person standing right next to them due to poor peripheral vision.

The importance of a wide visual field is especially apparent when you consider how much you rely on peripheral vision for certain activities, such as driving a car or crossing a busy street.

Visual field tests are totally different from tests of central visual acuity. Whatever device your eye doctor uses to test your peripheral vision, the goal is to determine if you have a normal field of view without unusual narrowing of your peripheral vision or the presence of abnormal blind spots.

People with normal peripheral vision have a maximum lateral field of view that creates an angle of nearly 180 degrees. In other words, distant objects that are located directly to the right or left of the observer are still visible. The normal vertical field of view of humans is not as expansive — it creates an angle of about 135 degrees. (Objects directly above us and at our feet are not simultaneously visible.)

If visual field testing reveals your peripheral vision is severely restricted to only 20 degrees (creating a very limited field of view often called tunnel vision), you are considered legally blind — even if you can see the 20/20 line on an eye chart.

How Many People Are Legally Blind?
According to a 2009 report by the National Federation of the Blind, 1.3 million people in the United States were legally blind at the time of the report.

In a 2004 study conducted by the Eye Diseases Prevalence Research Group, nearly one million (937,000) people over age 40 in the United States were legally blind, and another 2.4 million Americans had low vision (corrected visual acuity worse than 20/40 in their better eye).

The study authors estimated the number of legally blind Americans would increase by 70 percent to 1.6 million by 2020, with a similar rise in the number of people with low vision, due largely to the aging of the U.S. population.

Contact Social Security if you want to know more about disability benefits at www.ssa.gov


Give STL Day!


May 1st is “Give STL Day”.

The St. Louis Community Foundation has been helping St. Louisans put charitable dollars to work since 1915.

They are a respected source of information for donors as they seek to clarify the goals that guide their giving. In addition, they help donors assess the resources they have to give and connect them with charities, which are aligned with their goals and doing effective work.

The Foundation also serves as an experienced administrator of charitable funds and provides the customized giving tools that make giving easy, maximize tax benefits, and give donors confidence that their dollars are making a real difference in the lives of others.

The Foundation has more than 600 individual charitable funds that exceed $500 million in assets. On behalf of its donors, the Community Foundation makes approximately $80 million in grants annually to nonprofits that help shape our region, touch communities across the nation, and extend around the globe.

The St. Louis Community Foundation is as an unbiased, technically astute, and collaborative charitable-giving resource. Their combined expertise promotes effective charitable giving and they promote regional philanthropy through:

Charitable Intent – helping to articulate what charitable giving means to donors, enabling them to be more confident in their giving.

Charitable Financial Planning – leveraging tax-efficient giving tools in creative ways to achieve charitable as well as wealth and estate planning objectives for donors.

Community Investment – helping donors make thoughtful investments that tackle community issues in measurable ways both now and for the next 100 years.

Asset Stewardship – managing traditional and non-traditional assets in support of donors’ short- and long-term charitable aspirations.

If you’d like to make a donation to the Service Club for the Blind, please click on the link and follow the instructions below:

https://www.givestlday.org/ServiceClub


What do you need to keep in an Emergency Kit?


Spring is the time of year when we start to think about severe weather and worry about what we would need to do in case of a tornado or other severe weather issues. Do you have an emergency kit in your house that would keep you going until emergency services could get to you or until utility services would be operational again?  Read about preparation details here.

What do you need to keep in an emergency kit? FEMA recommends the following:

Consider having 2 kits: one for everything you’d need in order to stay where you are and make it on your own for a period of time, such as a couple of days worth of clothing, decent walking shoes, medications etc.

The other should be a lightweight, smaller version you can take with you if you have to leave your home.
Water – one gallon of water per person per day for at least 3 days for drinking and sanitation;
Food, at least a 3-day supply of non-perishable food and a can opener if kit contains canned food;
Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both;
Flashlight and extra batteries;
First aid kit;
Whistle to signal for help;
Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place;
Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation;
Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities;
Local maps;
Pet food, extra water and supplies for your pet or service animal;
Copy of prescriptions, copy of ID and other important documents.

Emergency kits should be checked at least twice a year, so try to co-ordinate that with Daylight Savings Time changes.  Once you have a kit put together, it is easy to keep it up to date.