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

  • From: Cindy Rosenthal <popularplace@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 12 Dec 2008 01:50:55 -0800 (PST)

Those are good ideas, Monica.

The only suggestion I have would be--could a way be
worked out that bookshare would know who is in serious
difficulty and could use the credits for membership
that we volunteers who can't use. I know several of us
have asked in the past if we could give our credits
away and for various good reasons it was explained
that the answer is no. But if bookshare could move the
credits to individuals who really need them, there
wouldn't be that many and it wouldn't be that
detrimental to bookshare--and we wouldn't even have to
know about it.

Cindy Ro

--- Monica Willyard <rhyami@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> 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




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