Helen Keller said, “Blind people are just like seeing people in the dark. The loss of sight does not impair the qualities of mind and heart.” Nowhere is that more evident than through the actions of Hope Frisch, founder and president of Volunteers for the Blind (VFB). Started in 2006 by Frisch, the organization has moved around to different locations in the area a few times until it made its current home in downtown Fredericksburg.
“Because I was helped by volunteers, I wanted to help others,” she says. “When I lived in Dale City previously, I met people who said when there are problems, we talk to our neighbors in the community.”
Frisch, who has a faithful guide dog named Kenny, and her pet dog, Patty, added that she doesn’t like to depend on family for everything.
Frisch’s experience with the outpouring of community-wide assistance on her behalf led her to start VFB. It provides help in a variety of areas, as well as unpaid internships to individuals who are blind and never worked or those who lost their sight and want to resume competitive employment. Volunteers offer the blind and visually impaired services, such as:
- Reading mail, instructions on prescription medication bottles, household equipment, appliances and more
- Helping to fill out job applications and other forms
- Assisting with paying bills, writing checks and balancing the checkbook
- Helping college students with assignments requiring library research
- Shopping for groceries, gifts, household appliances, furniture and clothes
According to Frisch, whose 70th birthday is November 1, 2021, she hopes to mark the day by hosting a benefit concert with a lineup of performers who have at least two things in common: they have a lot of talent and they’re blind. From a pianist to a flutist to a singer, the concert will bring entertainment to the community and donations to VFB. Stay tuned for more information on the organization’s website.
The organization is located at 12 Lafayette Station in Fredericksburg. For more information about VFB, volunteering, upcoming fundraising events and more, call 540-899-8847 or visit the website at volunteersfortheblind.org/home.