[bksvol-discuss] Support Needed For Our Volunteers and Members

  • From: "Monica Willyard" <rhyami@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 11 Dec 2008 18:48:58 -0500

Hi everybody. It has recently come to my attention that we have several
volunteers and Bookshare members who are struggling with the basics of life
such as affording groceries, medicine, and paying for utilities. Some have
lost their jobs, and others are retired and struggle with living on a small
pension with the rising costs of heating their home in the winter months.
Volunteers and members are the lifeblood of Bookshare, and it weakens us as
a group if our mates are in trouble. It's hard for folks to volunteer when
they're hungry, cold, or ill. I'd like to propose that we do a couple of
things to help our fellow Booksharians out of their bind.


First, I would like to see those of us who are able focus a little of our
time and efforts on providing some books that show people how to use various
services including government subsidies, utility assistance programs.
private charities, and community-based co-ops to help people keep their
heads above water. Co-ops have always been with us, but most Americans have
forgotten about their power since we live such different lives from our
grandparents. They are making a comeback now, and this is a great idea for
people with disabilities because we have talents to share and can
participate fully. Our senior citizens need help with finding ways to lower
medical bills and about how to work with Medicare. The Medicare web site is
very confusing to most people, and it's even worse for people with reading
disabilities. These are key areas where information is needed to help dig
our volunteers out of the mire.


The second thing I'd like to propose is that we try to add some books on
budget cooking, basics of cooking,  and meal planning to help people with
limited resources to make the most of what they have. Some of us use food
stamps, and we may benefit from learning how to get more groceries for our
stamps and may need to learn how to cook some of these foods. Switching from
convenience foods to "real food" means a change in how we cook and what we
eat. Many blind people don't have these skills yet and are stuck eating TV
dinners and paying the higher costs. Some don't know that you pay double for
buying ready-to-eat soup as opposed to buying condensed soup and providing
your own water or milk. Many blind people don't know these things because
they haven't been taught, and they can't see the items and prices around
them on grocery store shelves. So many little things that seem obvious to a
sighted person are a new discovery for many blind people. I didn't know
until 2 days ago that they make strawberry cough drops. (grin)


Do you think these ideas have merit? Do you have more ideas to share that
could help to support our volunteers? Do you have needs for daily living
skills that Bookshare isn't filling right now? What could we do to support
you better?



Monica Willyard

"The best way to predict the future is to create it." -- Peter Drucker


Other related posts: