Community Outreach, Events, Expansion

Kentucky Council for the Blind Conference

by Lucy Stone.

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I consider myself a little bit of a go-getter. That’s why when it came time to send people to the Kentucky Council of the Blind conference in Louisville this past weekend, I happily volunteered. It is no secret that I fell in love with my job on the first day. Our volunteers are the sweetest people and I knew that our listeners had to be as well. I thought it would be beyond difficult to wake up at 5:30 so that I could leave in time to get to the conference in order to set up a little before 8am, but I was wrong. As soon as my alarm went off I was filled with excitement because I KNEW that it was going to be a great day! I was right.  It was so amazing to get to meet some of the people we help on a daily basis. It seemed that everyone who came by our booth already had our radio and were more than pleased with their service. It was really cool to see how excited people got when we mentioned we were moving into Eastern Kentucky. I passed out several applications to potential Eastern Kentucky listeners and they were all so happy to have another service cater to helping them.

The booth Radio Eye had was situated between the “See the World” booth and a jewelry stand. I had the pleasant opportunity to chat with the folks at the “See the World” booth and they gave me some rookie knowledge. A very nice lady told me that they carry all of our information and that most people who come in don’t even know about our type of program. We are working very hard to change that! What I found most interesting about their booth was the huge variety of things that they had. From talking bibles, to talking alarm clocks, Braille watches, and even Braille Uno cards, they had it all! The lady said that the increase in technology has just opened up a new world for the blind and visually impaired. I was blown away. I loved having the chance to talk to various people and see how they each, uniquely, used different devices. The hardest part for me, of course, was being around all the dogs and not reaching out to pet them. It was pretty cool to watch the animals see for the person. They knew all the right moments to do all the right things. They were all so well behaved. I did learn, however, that Wildman was known to steal something yummy right off the table from time to time. With that knowledge I moved our candy bowl a little farther from the edge of the table.

Overall, I am so happy that I got the opportunity to attend such an informational conference. Several times Radio Eye was mentioned and I had such a sense of pride and happiness whenever people clapped or said something positive about all the work we’re doing. During lunch I chatted with a couple who are very familiar with Radio Eye and their enthusiasm for our program just made me want to work harder to share that positivity with others. I love our listeners. I love our volunteers. I love our program. And, I love my job.

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Community Outreach, Development, Events

Upcoming Events

We have some exciting events this week at Radio Eye!

On Thursday from 5pm – 7pm, we will be having an open house. If you’ve ever wondered how Radio Eye operates, you can come see for yourself. We’ll also talk about volunteer opportunities if you’re interested.

At noon on Thursday, Emily Duncan, UHS Student Health Insurance Coordinator, will be in to record a program about health insurance for our listeners. This special program will air on November 23rd at 2pm.

The Kentucky Council for the Blind (KCB) Conference is this weekend in Louisville. Studio Manager Chelsey VanDyke will attend on Friday from 4pm – 6pm at the Radio Eye booth. Lucy Stone, Assistant Studio Manager, will take over on Saturday morning. Lucy will also stay for some of the classes to learn about new assistive technology!

We are very excited for our upcoming events. We’d like to also remind everyone that the GoodGiving Guide Challenge doesn’t end until December 31st so there is still plenty of time to make a donation to Radio Eye. So far 26 donors have gifted us with $3,530! We also met our matching grant from the Kentucky School for the Blind Charitable Foundation for $2,500. Thanks to all who have donated!

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Community Outreach, Volunteers

Outreach at UK

On November 4th, two of Radio Eye’s outreach members attended the volunteer fair at the University of Kentucky Stuckert Career Center. This was smaller than some of the other volunteer fairs we have visited, but it was busy. UK students were excited to hear about what we do, and many came bearing resumes. Props to the Stuckert Center for making us feel welcome and running a smooth event!

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Outreach volunteer Melanie Ladd

 

Radio Eye depends heavily on volunteers, with 70 – 80 a week coming in to record or read live. We do orientations for new volunteers twice a month, all year long. Find the dates here: Volunteer Orientation Dates.

We need readers to take permanent programs and also fill in during the week when regular readers can’t make it in to read their assigned program.

Radio Eye also has five volunteer committees that do work related to Outreach, Expansion, Development, Marketing, and Newsletters. We need volunteers on all of them.

 

We also depend on interns to assist our small staff in keeping Radio Eye operating smoothly. Watch our website for new offerings. Currently we seek a Development/Social Media Coordinator.

 

If you think you might be interested in volunteering – or applying for our internship opportunities, we would love to talk to you. You can call the station at 859-422-6390 or email chelsey.vandyke@radioeye.org.

 

 

-Lissa Probus, Volunteer

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Community Outreach, Volunteers

Radio Eye Delivers!

One of the things I got to do for Radio Eye last month was deliver radios. We do this, if it’s possible, within Lexington. I had three, one for a gentleman on the north side of town, and two for a nursing home.

When my grandfather lost his vision, not being able to read the paper was a huge deal for him. One of the very few positive things I remember hearing about his experience was that he could listen to the paper on a special radio. When I delivered these radios, he was on my mind.

The house was neat and there was a flag out front. My young son and I talked about being polite and standing still at the door, then we climbed out. We walked to the door, holding hands, and I let him ring the bell. “Just once!” Our new listener knew we were coming, but I was concerned that our visit might still be an interruption… what if coming to the door was difficult? We waited…

A man came to the door, and smiled. I said we were from Radio Eye and I thought he might be expecting us… He was! I introduced us, and handed over a small box with a program guide tucked in. Our listener said he was so glad to have the radio and was looking forward to hearing the paper. I said we were glad to have him, and welcome! All my shyness resolved and it was a happy moment. I explained about the program guide and asked him to call if he had any problems, and to try it in different places to get the best reception. I told him we will call to see if it’s working and if he has any questions later.

The next delivery was to a large facility. These radios were a little bigger and someone helped me carry one in. There was one to pick up, and these would go to the community rooms, where people would get together to hear the Lexington Herald-Leader and other programs. Our helper took us to the Activities Director. She showed us where the community room was and invited us to come volunteer for activities with residents. That sounds like a lot of fun!

It makes us feel really good to reach out to people who can’t see well enough to read the local paper. I know some of our listeners use the Radio Eye radios for companionship (just like me and the 3AM BBC during grad school) and making a visit makes me feel a little more like we are part of their community, which we are, all of us.

Volunteering for Radio Eye has been a fantastic opportunity to expand our awareness of the whole community. Knowing that we read papers from across the Bluegrass has helped me understand Kentucky as diverse and culturally rich in a way that growing up in Lexington didn’t really offer. I know as we expand into Eastern Kentucky, our listeners will hear those papers, too, and share in this understanding.

I think that what we do at Radio Eye is unique and powerful. As people age, we want to make sure they are included, and as we get busier, we need to remember that it only takes a moment to reach out. We invite you to join us in reaching out to the listeners of our Radio Eye community. If you can volunteer, I think you’ll find it a rewarding use of your time. If you want to donate, the Good Giving Guide Challenge is under way: http://www.goodgivingguide.net/radioeye. I invite you to join us if you can, and to listen in at RadioEye.org during the month of November for Radio Reading Service Month.

Lissa Probus, Volunteer

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