Every day clients at this San Diego nonprofit demonstrate and prove the truth behind “you can lose your eyesight but you can never lose your vision.” During this watershed year, Braille Institute San Diego continued serving visually impaired children, youth and adults while maintaining the same quality of the organization’s first 19 years in San Diego.

Keeping the mission in the moment has become part of the Institute’s work at “empowering visually impaired individuals to live more fulfilling lives.” The organization’s staff of 30 is bolstered by over 400 community volunteers, without whom their multitude of classes and services could not be offered.

Spanish Fridays and a spotlight on children and youth services are recent additions to Braille Institute’s growing services that have been incredibly successful and appreciated in San Diego.

On December 6, The Insitute hosted Volunteer Holiday Toast 2013 at their beautiful campus and conference center in the Golden Triangle. Some 235 volunteers and guests joined in a festive evening themed “Volunteers Matter.” Appreciation certificates were presented along with beautiful handmade holiday ornaments made by the institute’s visually impaired art students. Volunteers Mary Hyde and Krishna Aurora shared thoughts of their experience with Braille Institute. UCSD film students Jonathan Kim and Alwin Szeto also showcased their “Volunteers Matter” video.

Outstanding volunteer awards went to Jill Melchior, Joe Sery and mother/son Therese and Sean Dougherty. San Diego County Supervisor Ron Roberts offered a seasonal community message and gave the evening’s official toast before being presented with Braille Institute’s 2013 “Civic Champion” award.

Braille Institute offers a wide array of programs and services designed to help people with vision loss lead enriched and fulfilling lives including a library, technology and adaptive devices and art studio.

For information or volunteer inquiries contact BISD Executive Director Richard Ybarra, (858) 452-1111