WASHINGTON, N.C. (WNCT) — A facility in Beaufort County is working to perfect a vision for the visually impaired. When The Blind Center first opened, it was the only facility in Eastern North Carolina targeting the special needs group.
“The blind citizens around this area they really didn’t have anywhere to go,” says The Blind Center Director Chip Laughinghouse.
Now, the center is open Monday through Thursday to work with clients.
“We help them as far as day-to-day chores and things that we think are simple that we help them do but it also stimulates them,” says Laughinghouse.
From creating crafts to performing chores to earn money for the center, clients say the lessons learned at The Blind Center are life changing. Clients say if they didn’t have the resource, they would be lost.
“Probably stay at home,” says Blind Center client Julie Wallace.
Julie has been coming to teh center since 1997. She helps earn money by organizing beads for craft stores. Julie also works to create crafts to sell in the gift shops which she says the general public should check out.
“If they came here, they would like it,” says Julie.
Employees and volunteers say working at the center is rewarding for everyone involved. Inspiring stories are shared daily including one experience that changed Program Director Liz Liles’ outlook on life.
“Literally, was able to see one day and the very next day has never gained her sight back and has no medical reasoning for that,” says Liz Liles.
She says the transformation she saw with this one client is what The Blind Center is all about.
“This precious woman had to learn how to live without sight after raising children and how to do the everyday things of taking care of yourself and how to cook and how to run a household and how to just interact with society being visually impaired,” says Liles.
As for the rest of the members, they feel forever connected.
“Clients here they don’t normally leave,” says Laughinghouse. “They become part of a family.”
The crafts created by the clients are for sale in the gift shop. Right now, the center is working to promote the baskets for Easter.