“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!
You have just read 'Book Launch Pools Efforts of Vision-impaired.' Copyright by Amy L. Bovaird, October 11, 2014. If you liked this post, please take a moment to comment and LIke/ SHare it. Thank you!