A greeting to the New Jersey Blind Men's Club-- a band of men who each day step into their little field of action with purpose of serving one another. Blind! They are not blind who see with their minds, and do things that must be done with cheerful courage. If we live in the light of intelligence, life is a wonderful adventure, an education, a testing to try our souls, provided we do not expect too much from it. After all, the individual is but a small item in this vast order of God's Thoughts. When we realize this, we begin to get wise, and ready for work or play.
Sincerely, HELLEN KELLER
MIDDLETOWN, NJ - Such a powerful voice the world had in Helen Keller and such a fitting letter from 1929 to honor an organization that still shines today. The month of October is Blind Awareness Month which kicked off a campaign of outreach to the community from an organization that does much good.
The Middletown Township Committee honored the New Jersey Blind Citizens Association with a Proclamation in honor of their 110-year anniversary at a recent meeting.
Mayor Tony Perry said, "We have a very special guest Stacey Stefanski, who is an instrumental part in the NJ Blind Citizens Association. We are honoring their 110 anniversary for all the incredible work that they do,"
Stefanski is the Director of the organization. "If you know anyone who needs some help, I'm always on the phone and sharing information that people need." said Stefanski.
The history of the organization is unique. From their website:
Established in 1910 as the New Jersey Blind Men’s Club, our organization has proudly served the blind community for 110 years.
The Club was founded by a group of forward-thinking men in Hoboken who wished for nothing less than instruction and support for the blind to lead happy and productive lives, as well as acceptance by the public for the blind and visually impaired. A century ago, resources, education, and employment for the blind were very rarely available, which is why the New Jersey Blind Men’s Club was determined to make a difference.
Camp Happiness, a free summer camp vacation program for blind adults, opened in 1930 as a waterfront facility on the Sandy Hook Bay in Monmouth County. Thanks to the Camp, blind New Jerseyans were able to venture out on their own in a safe environment and learn the basics of mobility and independent living. For the first time, many campers lived with other blind adults and formed a strong bond with those who understood their life experiences. (Pictured left are the 1930 Board Members)
By 1987, the demand for everyday programs skyrocketed, leading to transformation of Camp Happiness, to include a day program. Today, the Wobser Day Camp, named for founder Helen Wobser, has become our primary focus, offering creative programs. Although the NJBCA no longer offers a summer camp, it does provide programming Monday through Thursday year-round for participants, enriching their lives through regular activities and camaraderie with other blind and visually impaired individuals, as well as those who are experiencing deteriorating vision.
Now the New Jersey Blind Citizens Association (NJBCA) continues serving the blind of New Jersey thanks to generous donations from people who care! With continued support and encouragement, we carry on the tradition of helping our participants overcome obstacles.
We care deeply for the needs of the blind and visually impaired and those that are experiencing deteriorating vision and are confident you will find that our programs are well managed and worthy of ongoing successful charity. If you have questions about how to give as an individual, company, or community group, or how to help by volunteering, please contact us at 732-291-0878 today.
"This is an incredible organization." said Mayor Perry
You can watch the presentation in the first five minutes of the regular meeting here: