Hear Dr. White read this letter by clicking on the link that follows: Dr. White's Letter
As the managing director of the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired’s (ABVI) Low-Vision Center, I am passionate about helping people who are blind or visually impaired lead a full and rich life. I don’t usually care much about buildings – but I am excited about this one. The new Vision Rehabilitation Center will let us provide better facilities for children and seniors, superior training rooms for future doctors and for research, plus longer hours, even weekend hours!
ABVI has actually been around exactly 100 years – this year we celebrate a century of service to the greater Rochester community. And we are getting ready for the next century of service. The baby boomers are coming, and we need to provide for a 30 percent increase in demand for vision services that will happen in the next couple of years! We know it will continue to go up, because low vision correlates with age.
ABVI is almost completely self-funded by our manufacturing, Goodwill stores and Call Center businesses. We are the largest employer of people who are blind or visually impaired in the area. It pays many bills – but not all the bills for services we provide.
Our new building is almost (but not quite) paid for.
We don’t have the funding to complete our new Vision Rehabilitation Center, and that’s really why I’m writing to let you know, and to give you an opportunity to help. We have raised 80 percent of the money we need so far, and if you go by our building you will notice the construction has started. We have enough funds to complete the first floor. If we don’t get more by Thanksgiving, we’ll stop there. That would be a pity, because if our funding comes through, thanks to you and some other helpful members of the community, we’ll be able to complete the second and third floors.
The new Center will also help provide us with more programs for groups ranging from children to seniors. It will allow us to have another exam room (right now we only have one!). We will be able to train new doctors in what we do for you (we will need more doctors!). With your help in completing the new Vision Rehabilitation Center, we can give many children who are blind the ability to experience a childhood similar to a sighted child. We have the expertise and training skills to help them, but not the room we need without the new facility.
There is no more worthy cause than empowering people who are blind or visually impaired to lead full, meaningful lives. I want you to know that if you can help us build our new Vision Rehabilitation Center, thousands of people in our community will appreciate what you have done for them. I have dedicated my life to making blindness and visual impairment less of a burden. With your help, we will continue to be here for the community who needs us, long into the next century.
All the best,
Katherine White, OD
Managing Director, Low VIsion Center