Maurine Barcelo, President, Greater Pasadena Area Chapter
The providing of services to others is a quality that flourishes within the membership of the NFB. We offer peer counseling and mentoring to others without giving it a second thought.
When Dr. Jacobus tenBroek founded the NFB in 1940 it was out of love and caring for his blind brothers and sisters. He was a blind man speaking for the blind population, which at that time was a novel idea. Throughout the years Dr. Kenneth Jernigan and Dr. Marc Maurer continued their leadership following the same path of love and caring. We are, indeed, an organization that takes pride in helping other NFB members and volunteering our services within the surrounding communities.
For example, every Monday afternoon Joy Stigile, San Fernando Valley chapter member, arrives at the NFBC office to answer the phone or to assist in any ongoing project. John Boal, a sighted member of this chapter, volunteers his time to create outings and often drives for chapter members. John recently co-authored the book Chicken Soup for the Volunteer's Soul.
Paul Price, president of the North San Diego County chapter and the Diabetes Action Network division, volunteers his time at the San Diego Center for the Blind (Vista). He offers his computer expertise as well as providing all-around handyman kinds of services.
Raquel Montoya, Sharleen Phillips and Eleanor Sass, all members of the North San Diego County chapter, volunteer their services at local programs for the blind and visually impaired. Keiko Phelps, from the same chapter, teaches sewing at the San Diego Braille Institute.
Joy Stigile volunteering in the NFBC office
The High Desert chapter president, Caroline Rounds, is very active in church activities. She frequently plays the guitar and leads worship services. Joyce Wales, member of the same chapter as well as president of the Parents of Blind Children division, volunteers at a crisis pregnancy center.
Maurine Barcelo, president of the Greater Pasadena Area chapter, volunteers weekly at the National Childhood Cancer Foundation. She also speaks, and takes literature, to numerous elementary schools in her area.
Jim Willows, immediate past president, has facilitated a support group for senior citizens who were experiencing vision loss. He received a commendation from the City of Pleasanton for his volunteer services. Pat Munson has volunteered her time at a senior citizens center to work with those who were experiencing blindness or vision loss.
These are but a few of the activities and services provided by Federationists around the state. It takes a special kind of person to give freely of his or her time. As you can see, we have many of these special people in the NFB of California.
If some of you have been reluctant to reach out into the community and offer your services, you might want to speak with someone who does volunteer his or her time. You will learn that the rewards of serving others are plentiful. The more you give the more you will receive.