There are numerous organizations across the Ohio Valley that make it their mission to help those in need.
Some people would even call these organizations the areas best-kept secrets.
The Seeing Hand Association is a nonprofit that was formed in 1946 and their mission is to help blind and visually impaired individuals lead fulfilling and independent lives.
They offer all kinds of programs and services to help all of their needs.
“Well, the largest one is employment. The staggering statistic is the unemployment rate among the blind is somewhere between 70 and 80 percent. So chances are if we didn’t exist in the Upper Ohio Valley Area most of our workers wouldn’t have a place to go to work,” said The Seeing Hand Executive Director, Karen Haught.
Keith Gloor has been visually disabled since he was one year old.
One of his dreams was to be a fireman and with his impaired vision, he wasn’t able to be one.
So working with the fire extinguishers is a way for him to be close to something he loves and always wanted to do.
“This is a great place to work and there’s numerous opportunities for other people with visual disabilities,” said The Seeing Hand Lead Fire Extinguisher Tech, Keith Gloor.
“It’s rewarding just to see that the blind and visually impaired in this community have a place to come and work. It’s very rewarding,” said The Seeing Hand Shop Supervisor, Brian Carpenter.
Brian Carpenter is a single father of three and says this is the first job he has ever had that he enjoys coming to work.
He said the workers LOVE their job, and they look forward to it every day.
“You can also see an extra bounce in their step. They come in, and they are ready to get to work. They want to know what task can be done today. It gives them the opportunity to do something that they otherwise would not have an opportunity to do so,” said Carpenter.
The United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley is a huge contributor to The Seeing Hand!
Haught said if they didn’t have that they wouldn’t be able to do what they do.
“And the United Way plays a really vital part in helping provide the funding for our programs,” said Haught.
Karen says the Seeing Hand is basically their family and it’s a very nurturing environment.
They don’t strive for perfection, and they just want all their members to have the same opportunities as everyone else.
They have the fire extinguishers for sale at a discounted price to anyone that needs them.
You can stop by their shop Monday through Friday 9 AM to 4 PM.
Here is a link to their website, LINK: www.seeinghandassociation.com.
For any additional information, you can call 304-232-4810.