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November Bulletin

by NFBCal

Greetings Fellow Federationists,

The month of November is always a time of reflection. I would like to share this quote from Cicero, “A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues”. I am so thankful for all of the people in the National Federation of the Blind of California who have come together to pass on the message of equality, security, and opportunity for the blind. It is because of you, with you, and for you that we hold annual statewide conventions such as our recent successful convention held in October. I am so grateful to all of the people who worked so hard to make the convention informative and fun.

Meet the Blind Month
Many chapters have participated in “Meet the Blind Month” activities in local communities throughout the state to help spread the word to blind people and their families that it is okay to be blind. Our newly formed Davis Canes and Tails Chapter conducted a public education event at the Davis Farmer’s Market. Members circulated through the crowds and passed out literature while others put the names of children in Braille for them show off to their friends. The Escondido Chapter also participated in a street fair where they sold several items and informed the community about the programs and services of the National Federation of the Blind of California. The Pathfinders Chapter and the Guiding Lights Chapter made a presentation at the Second Baptist Church of Los Angeles. They told the congregation about our successful Braille Enrichment in Literacy and Learning (BELL) Program, which was held at that church in July.

Catch Our Dreams
Congratulations to our southern California friends, family, and chapter members who came together to celebrate our fundraising effort called Catch our Dreams. The event was coordinated by Cheryl Thurston, President Inland Empire Chapter and Robert Stigile, President San Fernando Valley Chapter. We now have a new auctioneer in our midst. Hoby Wedler and EverLee have been our notorious auctioneers and as of this past Saturday, Rochelle Houston, President Pathfinders Chapter is added to the list. EverLee got the crowd inspired and Rochelle Houston kept it going with humor and spontaneity. There was dancing, laughter, and support for one another and the work of the National Federation of the Blind of California. We will definitely continue the Catch our Dreams theme for our statewide fundraising effort.

Celebrating 50 years of Service to Los Angeles
On Saturday, November 9 the Pathfinders Chapter will celebrate their 50th anniversary of the chapter and all of the accomplishments of federationists in the Los Angeles area. President, Rochelle Houston, will preside at a dinner held at Marie Calendars located at 21211 Hawthorne Blvd., Torrance, CA from 5 to 8 pm. Donation is $30. There will be speakers to recognize the long-time dedication of members in Los Angeles who have helped to change what it means to be blind. For more information, contact Rochelle at 323) 754-9689 or email

Parent Leadership Program at 2014 Washington Seminar
I am seeking the names of parents who show leadership potential for supporting parents of blind children. Do you know a parent that shows the commitment to help build the parents division in our state? If so, please send me, Mary Willows, the name and contact information by November 12, 2013. We hope to send two parents to the Parent Leadership Program (PLP), which is held annually in conjunction with the Washington Seminar. The dates are January 26 through January 30, 2014.

California Supports Minimum Wages for Disabled Workers
On October 31, 2013 newly elected board member and president of the Davis Canes and Tails Chapter, Rick Watson, delivered 5,300 pages of names of people who signed a petition to end the discriminatory practices of Goodwill Industries paying sub-minimum wages to disabled workers. The petition garnered 170,000 signatures of Americans who demand that Goodwill pay its workers with disabilities a real wage. Follow the story at

There’s More than One Way to be Okay: A Blind Woman’s PURRspective on Life”
Congratulations to Lauren Merryfield, who has written her second book, There’s More than One Way to be Okay: A Blind Woman’s PURRspective on Life”. The ebook versions are at amazon and other companies. Contact Lauren at for the print version.

Happy Thanksgiving to Everyone.

Mary Willows, President
3934 Kern Court
Pleasanton, CA 94588
(925) 462-8575

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