The elves are busy planning this year’s festivities for the kids at Nevada Blind Children’s Foundation. Our “elves” are volunteers from the local community, and along with foundation directors, Lori Moroz-White and Linda Maneen we have many needs when it comes to putting together this important annual event.
Our Annual Holiday Party is a day-long event for children who are blind with planned activities like Snow Play, Christmas Caroling, Games, Descriptive Christmas Movie and… the best part- decorating homemade gingerbread men. Why is this the best part? Okay, it could be because I bake them fresh each year and enjoy helping the kids place gumdrop buttons, cinnamon candy eyes and coconut hair on their gingerbread man.
Parents would tell you they look forward to the annual party for different reasons. The party gives parents a day of respite to do Christmas shopping or whatever else they need or want to do, and this is plenty of reason to rejoice. Where many parents may take for granted the ease of finding someone to watch their child for a day, parents of children who are blind or handicapped may find it exceptionally more difficult.
Nevada Blind Children’s Foundation creates an exciting and fun-filled day for children who may otherwise not be included in any holiday events. These children look forward to this event all year long; I know my Connor does. As a parent of a child who is blind, I can’t describe the feeling when your child has a place and event specially for him. All year long it’s a struggle to modify activities and events to meet Connor’s needs, and this is one event where I don’t have to worry about that.
Let The Baking Begin
I make my gingerbread from scratch with molasses, ground ginger and all. Yes, homemade is tastier, but it’s also lending to the sensory experience for these children. These kids may not be able to see their gingerbread creation, but they’ll never forget that smell of fresh homemade gingerbread.
The first thing I’ll need to do is reorganize my baking cupboard. Every year about this time I tackle this dreaded task- and believe me- after just one year, my baking cupboard is in desperate need of help. I’ve found so many inspirational tips and suggestions for organizing a baking cupboard on websites like Pinterest, that I’m actually looking forward to it this year, so stay tuned for my upcoming “before and after” annual transformation.
You Can Help
The next thing we’ll need is to gather our resources in the community. To create the most memorable holiday party yet, we are still in need of the following:
- Lunch donation from a local restaurant of pizza or sandwiches with drinks with the kids and volunteers
- Gift bags or stockings filled with items like Play Doh, Slinky’s, candy canes, Dominos, bouncy balls and lip balm (for older kids).
- Volunteers to help with activities.
Many of you who know me are aware of our mission to build the first school for the blind in Nevada as one of only two states in the U.S. currently with no school for the blind. In 2006, we opened the doors to Nevada Blind Children’s Foundation with the first-ever library for children who are blind, technology center and resource library for parents. As a parent of a child who is blind, I can tell you first hand what it’s like to not have a place in the community where you can go to for resources.