Kicking off The Compassion Project with a bang, Anchor Center for Blind Children was chosen as our first stop on the highway to kindness. As a non-profit organization, Anchor Center for Blind Children provides early intervention and education to children ages birth to 5 years old that are blind or visually impaired. Children learn how to “navigate the world” by learning to talk, walk and communicate, all with the assistance of loving Anchor Center staff. Founded in 1982 by a librarian from the Colorado Library for the Blind and the local Delta Gamma alumnae chapter, the center began with a class of 10 and was located in a small Sunday school room. In the years since, Anchor Center for Blind Children has grown significantly, enabling them to accomplish more than they ever dreamed possible. Now located in a state of the art building, Anchor Center supports and educates families, siblings and caregivers of more than 195 children a year. This success can be attributed to the amazing staff, students and families. Members of the community that have volunteered or donated to the center also play a vital role in its growth. Inspired by the belief in giving to the community, Anchor Center for Blind Children was the perfect choice for our Compassion Project and was highly anticipated from the Media Myndz Volunteer group.
When Volunteer Day arrived, we were greeted, given a tour of the facility and educated by Kelsey Montague, the center’s Communications and Volunteer Manager. It was a fun experience touring the state of the art building and learning about everything it provides for its students. Acting as a physical teaching tool for children with visual impairments, the building was designed with special features in mind to promote growth to children during critical times in their development. The building features special lighting and architecture designed to support safe and comfortable learning environments. Classrooms are filled with different learning tools aimed at strengthening sensory abilities of the students. Other fun features of the building included a gym, climbing wall and outdoor playground. “I thought it was cool that we got to have a tour and things explained to us as to why it was built the way it was,” said Michelle Betzler, who was a member of the volunteer team. Seeing the center and everything it offers to children allowed our group to really understand how valuable the center is to our community. After the tour, it was time to begin helping the center with a donation they recently received. Armed with education, coffee and donuts, the group with Media Myndz was ready to get to work.
For our project, we were given the job of organizing and labeling over 2,000 children’s glasses that were recently donated by Von’s Vision. Von’s Vision is a foundation that was created by Von Miller of the Denver Broncos, supporting children located in Colorado who are in need of assistance in getting eye care and corrective eye-wear. According to recently released statistics, the Denver Public School System currently has more than 27,000 low-income students who are in need of vision correction. Formed on statistics such as these, Von’s Vision aims to help Denver children see their best to ultimately do their best in life.
Just as Anchor Center for Blind Children transforms the lives of their students and families, our lives were forever changed by establishing a relationship with them through our volunteer efforts. “It was very interesting to learn about the center and things I never knew when it comes to children who are visually impaired,” said Amanda Wemstrom, a local Denver resident and member of the volunteer team with Media Myndz. As members of the Denver community, it felt nice to give back and help an organization aimed at making Denver great.
“We get so caught up in our busy lives that we neglect giving back to the community. It was an honor and privilege to volunteer at Anchor Center and help them further their mission to make a difference in the lives of their students, families, and the community as a whole,” said Bruce Miles, another Media Myndz volunteer and Denver resident. Hoping to visit again in the future, our time with Anchor Center for Blind Children was inspirational. At Media Myndz we love moments like this where we are with our community, making our community a greater place to live. To make the world a better place, we must begin with ourselves and that is exactly what Media Myndz Compassion Project is doing. Thank you to everyone who was involved at making our first project a success!