Serving People With Sight Loss
November 2013 Volume 13 Issue 4
To provide opportunities for people who are blind or visually impaired to improve and enrich their personal, social and economic lives.
Telephone: (707) 523-3222
Fax: (707) 636-2768
A Farmer’s Legacy
“It is my hope that the farm will become a place where the blind can work, play and fellowship together instead of shedding bitter tears of frustration on their friends’ shoulders. That’s my contribution and that’s my goal.” --Earle Baum
Earle Baum was born in 1896 on his family farm just west of Santa Rosa. By 17, Baum was totally blind, most likely from retinitis pigmentosa. Baum remained determined. He worked the farm, tended the animals, planted, cultivated, pruned, and harvested the farm’s seasonal bounty.
Baum was both remarkable and ordinary. His rural life was certainly ordinary for the time in which he lived, yet most remarkable in the vivacious way he went about living it. He remained on the farm until his death at the age of 90, in 1986.
He bequeathed his property to an organization that could turn it into the place he wished for, which is the Earle Baum Center today. His vibrant spirit lives on in the services provided by the Center.
Who Does the Earle Baum Center Serve?
The Earle Baum Center is a non-profit, regional center, providing life-changing vision rehabilitation services to Northern Californians with sight loss.
This unique community-oriented center, located on 17 beautiful acres, offers programs to develop an individual’s skills and build the confidence needed to live a fulfilling and independent life.
The Earle Baum Center has transformed the lives of thousands with sight loss, from all walks of life and ages since 1999.
What Programs Do We Offer?
Our proven curricula is delivered by professionals and designed to ensure that sight-impaired persons achieve the skills needed to live independent, successful lives. Please visit our website for more information: www.earlebaum.org.
Our programs and services include:
• Assistive Technology Services
• Low Vision Clinic
• Introduction to Vision Loss
• Living With Vision Loss
• Independent Living Skills
• Orientation & Mobility
• Braille Instruction
Hope and Potential
My life has hope and potential. It always has and it always will. But there have been days when it’s been hard to feel hopeful. Today is not one of those days. Today, my optimism and aspiration springs directly from the training I have received and the connection I have with the Earle Baum Center. I am not alone.
As is true for most people living with sight loss, the initial experience is paralyzing. When I was first told my visual impairment was permanent and irreversible due to diabetic retinopathy, I felt the doors of my dreams slam shut. My plan to enroll at Sonoma State University, have an oil painting portrait business, and, most importantly, to lead an active and independent lifestyle, fell out of my reach. I felt helpless. My family did everything they could to support me but they couldn’t give me back my strength. In retrospect, I wish I had learned about the Earle Baum Center sooner—that would have given me hope.
I now know there are countless ways in which a person can become visually impaired. The leading cause of blindness in the US is diabetic retinopathy. According to the 2011 Diabetes National Fact Sheet, there are close to 30 million Americans living with diabetes and 40–45 percent of them have some stage of diabetic retinopathy. Currently, there are 1.75 million Americans in the US living with age-related macular degeneration, another common cause of sight loss, and it’s estimated that by 2020, the number will rise to 3 million. It’s clear that permanent sight loss is something we must face as a society.
The Earle Baum Center is the only center of its kind from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Oregon border. Essentially, anyone living in this vast area with visual impairment and a desire to remain independent and active in their community has only the Earle Baum Center to turn to for centralized vision-loss services. These services cost money and unfortunately the government funding does not cover the need. The Center relies on generous donations by community members such as you to make its valuable services available.
Thanks to the Earle Baum Center, I went back to school and made the Dean’s list at Sonoma State. That never would have been possible without the Assistive Technology tutoring EBC gave me on a program called Zoom Text and the orientation and mobility training I was given to help me feel confident traversing the campus. I am still able to paint photo-realistically, thanks to aids I received through the EBC’s Low Vision Clinic. I plan to return to school to get a Master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling for the visually impaired this Fall.
Today, I feel more capable than I can ever remember feeling. I shared my successes in Earle Baum’s Living with Vision Loss class to help other folks going through their own sight loss journeys and I’ll continue to help in any way I can. Please join me in helping the Earle Baum Center continue to offer these life-changing services. Donate what you can and together, we’ll keep dreams alive for everyone.
Planned gifts provide a way to meet the needs of both the Earle Baum Center and the charitable interests of you and your family.
Gifts and bequests let your gift continue working beyond your lifetime to help others achieve their goal of independence. Charitable organizations are not subject to gift or estate taxes so the gift continues to support the cause dear to your heart without being diminished by the IRS. With your planned giving, your legacy will live on through the dedicated work of the EBC. We remain steadfast in our role as good stewards of such legacies.
For more information and to share your plans for giving, please call (707) 523-3222.
“The greatest use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.”
Our deepest thanks to those who are currently donating to the Earle Baum Center! We greatly appreciate you!
Our budget is $1,033,598 based on our fiscal year ending June 30, 2012. Our sources of income are from donations, fundraising events such as EarleFest, grants, and our programs & services. If you have any questions about our budget or financing, please call our office at (707) 523-3222, view the IRS Form 990 on our website, or email us at email@example.com.
2013 EBC Budget Expense Chart
2013 EBC Budget Income Chart
Earle Baum Center’s Giving Campaign
You can make a difference in the quality of a visually impaired or blind person’s life! Consider making a monthly pledge.
• $120 Bronze Donor ($10.00/mo)
• $240 Silver Donor ($20.00/mo)
• $480 Gold Donor ($40.00/mo)
• $780 Platinum Donor ($65.00/mo)
• $1020 Diamond Donor ($85.00/mo)
Click the Donate Now button on our secure website, www.earlebaum.org, to choose the way in which you’ll make your gift.
By Mail - Fill out the enclosed donation envelope and return to our office.
In Person - Drop by the Center. We would be thrilled to see you.
By Phone - Call us and we can process your gift right away.
A MESSAGE TO CLIENTS
PLEASE DON’T HURT THE PEOPLE WHO ARE TRYING TO HELP YOU
Please make your appointment at the Earle Baum Center a highest priority. Cancellations are one of our largest sources of financial loss. A cancelled appointment that we can’t fill with a replacement can cost us three ways: the lost revenue of delivering the service, the need to pay salaried or hourly staff for that scheduled time, and the lost opportunity to serve another person with vision loss in that time slot. In some instances we may charge you for a missed appointment or discontinue service for those with repeated cancellations or no shows.
Let us know if you need help with tools to remember appointments.
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