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All About Vision Loss Alliance of New Jersey’s First Annual Day of Giving

The VLANJ team stands beneath a banner featuring the Vision Loss Alliance of New Jersey logo at their Denville, NJ location.

All About Vision Loss Alliance of New Jersey’s First Annual Day of Giving

Editor’s Note

Connecting, Empowering, and Breaking Barriers is more than a tagline at Bold Blind Beauty, it’s a belief system. Supporting organizations who empower, advocate, and provide services for those on the blindness spectrum give us so much joy!

So when Vision Loss Alliance of New Jersey (VLANJ) asked if we would help them spread the word about their first Annual Day of Giving we said YES! What’s reallly cool about this event is how the organizers chose to tie everything together. The amount of money they are raising is tied to the 79 years they’ve been in business. Since they were founded in 1943 they even tied this number to the timing of the event–so clever. The following post was submitted by VLANJ. Enjoy! ~Steph

It all began in 1943, when a group of individuals met in a Newark, NJ basement to address societal bias against people who, like themselves, were blind or had profound vision loss. These individuals went on to form the New Jersey Association for the Blind, and started the state’s first summer residential camp program for women in Denville, NJ.

Why women? At that time, women had fewer options for leading an independent life, so the founders focused on women’s needs. Under the name “NJ Foundation for the Blind,” the summer camp soon expanded its offerings to provide life-skills training in order to help those with vision loss live more independent lives. While the residential camp still ran in the summer, a day program that fostered independence and self-sufficiency was established during the remainder of the year – and the earliest iteration of Vision Loss Alliance of New Jersey was born.

Fast forward to 79 years later, and Vision Loss Alliance of New Jersey (VLANJ) is now a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that receives the majority (67%) of its funding from individual donations. Looking to the future with optimism, Vision Loss Alliance of New Jersey continues to provide a lifeline to all those with profound vision loss. It serves as a safe haven for the vision loss community, where individual needs are understood, dignity is acknowledged, and guided programs are provided that will help individuals with sight loss lead a more independent life. VLANJ also offers virtual programs that are free of charge thanks to the generosity of grant funding, with attendees from all over the world.

First Annual Day of Giving

The VLANJ team stands beneath a banner featuring the Vision Loss Alliance of New Jersey logo at their Denville, NJ location.
The VLANJ team stands beneath a banner featuring the Vision Loss Alliance of New Jersey logo at their Denville, NJ location.

This year, VLANJ is announcing its first ever annual Day of Giving. The VLANJ Day of Giving is designed to bring the VLANJ community of program participants, alumni, staff, and friends together in support of the mission and history of providing services to people with vision loss.

Beginning on Thursday, June 16th and continuing into Friday, June 17th, VLANJ has set a goal of raising $7,900 in recognition of the past 79 years of the organization’s home and history. Throughout this time period, VLANJ program participants have spent time together learning skills to lead an independent life, and generations of alumni, families, friends, and staff have helped to shape VLANJ. The timeframe of the upcoming Day of Giving – 1 day, 9 hours, and 43 minutes – honors VLANJ’s founding year of 1943.

The overwhelmingly positive response surrounding VLANJ’s upcoming Day of Giving – what the team hopes to be the start of many in years to come – has been simply wonderful to behold. Influencers across the world are coming together to help spread awareness about the event and VLANJ’s mission via social media, and some have already pledged to donate and even offered to contribute special gifts for top donors. Those in the latter category include Dave Steele, “The Blind Poet,” CONQUERing (a line of inspiring fidget jewelry that also offers a special line of fidget rings with Braille), and WagALot Pet Shop, a line of trendy dog accessories created by an entrepreneur and college student who is blind.

For the big event, VLANJ is also in contact with several local Denville, NJ businesses who may be offering special promotions June 16 – 17 in honor of VLANJ’s first annual Day of Giving, as VLANJ’s central brick and mortar location is based in Denville. 

Vision Loss Alliance of New Jersey has begun a new phase in its growth, and now approaches the future with renewed determination to remain a leader, offering innovative programs as well as expanded accessibility to individuals affected by profound vision loss. The organization has recognized the need for providing and teaching basic and essential life skills, as well as for offering health and wellness activities year-round.

The VLANJ team continues to be both thrilled and grateful to have the continued support of community members and donors as they work to carry out their mission of supporting and empowering those with vision loss. VLANJ also offers assistance and guidance for individuals in program participants’ lives who are sighted.

Don’t forget to Save the Date for the 1st Annual VLANJ Day of Giving, Thursday, June 16th to Friday, June 17!

Can’t wait until June 16th? You can make your Day of Giving gift now and be counted, and/or help VLANJ spread the word by sharing this link:  https://www.vlanj.org/vlanjdayofgiving2022/

Vision Loss Alliance of New Jersey looks forward to continuing to provide both local and global services for the next 79 years and beyond!

About Vision Loss Alliance of New Jersey

Vision Loss Alliance of New Jersey is a 501(c)(3) that provides practical training and emotional support to help those who have experienced profound vision loss regain self-esteem and self-reliance. Since its founding in 1943, Vision Loss Alliance of New Jersey has used a holistic approach to empower those with profound vision loss to live engaged, productive and independent lives. Explore vlanj.org for more information.

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The header is cropped but identical to the second image. The VLANJ team stands beneath a banner featuring the Vision Loss Alliance of New Jersey logo at their Denville, NJ location.

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