“I have a vision-impaired friend who has a basket ministry,” Marilyn said when I mentioned I wanted to have some giveaway baskets. “She collects things to add to baskets and does a lovely job.”

“She’s got the job!” I joked, noting that it was a volunteer position.

When Marilyn, who was helping me to organize the book launch along with her daughter, suggested a vision-impaired friend to complete a  task, I sat up and took note.daughter, always had great ideas. God often put things on her heart, she said, and this was one of those times.

“She’s got the job!” I joked, well aware that it was a volunteer position I had offered.

The friend, Linda Fuller, can be found year-round eagerly amassing cheerful stuffed animals,  inspirational books of all kinds, chocolates, coffee cups and whatever the occasion calls for to bring that special basket together. She even wraps them with the kind of cellophane that flower stores use and completes the arrangements with the perfect and fancy bow.

Marilyn shared a story of when she was going through a difficult time and Linda stepped in with an encouraging basket to cheer her during one of her lowest moments. “She attends my church, in Conneaut, OH, and our friendship, always special, blossomed even more.”  Marilyn explained how the basket ministry grew because Linda listened to people, especially those hurting, and took it on herself to make a difference.

I was touched by Linda’s acts of kindness, and knew God wanted to use her to glorify Him at my book launch, too. That prompted me to invite others with sight issues to pool their talents together and be showcased at my launch.

I knew several vision-impaired people from my RP Family Support Group. We are all at different stages of this disease so we learn from each other how to move forward. What I’ve learned from interacting with others is that the only thing that holds us back is our attitude. There are some members, like Liz Keifer from Texas,  who post inspirational message and always have a positive word to add to any situation. There are others who you see don’t let life pass them by. Chrissy Henderson comes to mind here. She is a an athlete and hones her skills at being a female trapeze artist. If I could only give them a plane ticket and invite them to share in my special day!

I couldn’t do that but I found a way to include some of the people I have become friends with. For example, Matt Harris, a poet, author, street preacher and inspirational speaker from Maryland, sent his signature author pens. People will use them to sign up for the free giveaway basket.

He also sent a poem, entitled, “Launch Time.”  You can see it HERE Scroll down the page about halfway to read it. Matt suffers from RP and Usher’s Syndrome (progressive hearing loss) like I do. You can connect with hhalfwayim and find out more about his books at http://www.seeingthroughblindness.com/.

Another one who contributed to my book launch by sharing her talents was Lizzie Jane Capener, an opera singer from London, UK, who also suffers from Retinitis Pigmentosa. She recently completed a new CD entitled, “Viva to the Diva.”

Lizzie’s blessed me with a copy of her new CD, Viva to the Diva. It launches in the United Kingdom on October 25, 2014.

She sent me her brand new release, a CD, to give away at my launch, and another to play during the book signing portion of it. A portion of her proceeds will go to the Foundation for Fighting Blindness in search for a cure for RP. Her CD will be available on her website (www.elizabethcapener.com) starting October 13. She will have her own launch party on October 25. I wish her much luck!

I also had another couple contribute their time and talents to my launch. Beckie Ann Horter, a Christian blogger and editor for Proverbs 31 Ministries, reviewed my book recently. I met Beckie. also vision-impaired,  at a speaking engagement back in May. Although she learned about it late, Beckie made a special effort to attend the talks I presented at the Ladies’ Day Retreat, which was held near her hometown. Because we share both vision impairment, a love for writing and, most importantly,  a Christian faith, our friendship has grown since that fateful day in May.

Beckie’s husband, Bill, has a sign shop. He volunteered to create some banners and signs for my book launch!  He said, “They have warm, vibrant colors and are beautiful!” when I asked him about the banners he created. If you need a sign made and live in northwest Pennsylvania, Bill is your guy!  You can reach him at > www.dwsignshop.coms

As I reflect on how my vision-impaired friends pooled their talents to make my book launch a success,  in my heart, I know that God hand-chose these people for this assignment. It was because they said “yes,” that God will be even more glorified this Sunday. But I feel so much warmth toward them, in any event, because they chose to bless me with their skills.

So I decided to give them a shout-out and a huge, huge, HUGE thanks for bringing their beautiful contribution to my special day. Thank you, friends! God bless!

By the way, those baskets that Linda made are awesome! Stuffed to the gills with everything from a Bible to a tie (for the Men’s basket) and chocolates and candles, among other goodies (for the Women’s). These baskets are valued about $50 each.

If you are in northwest Pennsylvania, and near Erie, PA, please take a few minutes to stop by Erie Church of Christ for my launch!

Have some refreshments on me and listen to a great story about how it is that the sighted and blind live in the same safe world!

Have a piece of cake and glass of punch on me and listen to a great story about the vision-impaired world and the sighted one being the same world. In my story, I tell you how that is so!

Don’t miss it!


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15 thoughts on “Book Launch Pools Efforts of Vision-Impaired

  • October 10, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    I would love to stop by for the launch but I’m in sunny FL.

    Hope everything goes smoothly and you’re launched into orbit.

    Wishing you all the best.

  • October 10, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    Thank you for your wonderful post! Hope your book launch is a huge success. What a wonderful group of friends you have. At times I felt I’ve been impaired as I’ve been very near sighted since childhood. But after having cataract surgery in my now age, I’m seeing better than I’ve ever. Feeling very blessed.


  • October 10, 2014 at 9:12 pm

    We all support each other. When you are Positive you attract positive. That is what I find when I read Amy ‘ s work. She inspires me. Would love to be there in person but will be there in spirit smiling with everyone! Great job Amy! 🙂

  • October 10, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    What wonderful friends you must have and clearly your book launch is attracting the people you most need.

  • October 10, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    Hi Amy,

    Thanks for the “shout out.” I know you’ll do well. All the glory to God!!!

  • October 11, 2014 at 12:45 am

    What a wonderful idea to help people that love to read. I wish I was in Fl, because I would be stopping by to see how I can support your efforts.

  • October 11, 2014 at 1:09 am

    Hi Amy; thanks for sharing this group of amazing people with us. it just shows how important it is to build up a community of people you can count on. It got me to thinking about a little ebook that I am getting close to publishing myself. no big party like yours, but it is an important first step for me. and the visually impaired photographer chelsea stark provided my cover image. and i came up with the title that lead to this concept. and I know my friends both sighted and blind are ready to help me promote the book. would love to have you read it and write a review. I would love to have some reviews to post when the book goes live in a few weeks. I’m also looking forward to reading yours my friend. thanks again for sharing. take care and blessings on your book launch this sunday. wish i could be there, max

  • October 11, 2014 at 1:32 am

    Sounds like your prepared for a successful book launched. You are truly blessed to have so many friends to help you out.

  • October 11, 2014 at 1:43 am

    People are good. People are kind. People are generous. You are a magnificent magnet doing great things and it’s a delight to read how many people have rallied around your endeavors. Keep going.

  • October 14, 2014 at 3:10 am

    Hi Tamika,
    I’m actually in PA. But thank you so much for your support and good will. So thoughtful and I will definitely let you know if I have anything else going on. Perhaps it will find you closer to me!
    Once again, thank you! =)

  • October 14, 2014 at 3:15 am

    Hi Max,
    So exciting that you are doing this ebook! It’s a great feeling to publish it yourself. Yes, I know Chelsea Stark. How wonderful to be working with her! Having someone help you promote it is a BIG help. Sure, I’d be happy to read it, as soon as I get a chance. Thank you so much for all your good will on my launch. It went incredibly well (was in God’s hands!).
    Thanks again, and will be in contact with you to get more information to review your book.

  • October 14, 2014 at 3:17 am

    Dear Tamala,
    I like that … being a magnificent magnet! People really have rallied around me.
    Thank you for your kind words. Will be posting my photographs shortly!
    Come back and read my blog to find out how the launch went!

  • October 14, 2014 at 3:20 am

    Hi Aimee,
    Yes, I am truly blessed. Stay tuned for more news on my book launch!
    Hope the conference goes well for you and everyone else! Don’t forget to put your blog announcement tomorrow!
    Amy xx

  • October 30, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    Hi Amy,

    What a wonderful bunch of friends to add so much to your launch party. Remember, it takes time to build a following. It is a super start.

    Be well and take care,


  • October 31, 2014 at 12:36 am

    Thank you so much, Dave! It really does take time to build a following and I am farther along than I was at this time last year!
    It was a wonderful launch and warmhearted with friends from different areas of my life. Babs represented the PW Area 1 contingency. I was thrilled to see her! Miss you, Dave! Hope you are well there.

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