By Lynn Coats
Wow! What a year! First of all, I would like to give the biggest of shout outs, to the wonderful, the fantastic, and the warmest of people, Cindy Hollis, ACB’s Membership Services Coordinator. If it wasn’t for her, our beloved community would never have been built. And although there have been many people behind the scenes of building this cherish community, Cindy has stood out in the forefront and provided all of us the strong foundation needed to bring this community to everyone.
When the pandemic began, I honestly didn’t know how I would get through the days and weeks of an oncoming lockdown. But all of a sudden, a ray of hope shone through all of our computers. We learned how to work and use the Zoom platform, and some have even learned how to host Zoom meetings. As we learned more about Zoom and began facilitating calls, friendships were being made. Close friendships. Strong friendships. It truly began to be a safe, respectful, and welcoming community. Have there been disagreements? Yes. Have there been glitches? Of course. But that didn’t stop the ongoing work that has been a part of such a vibrant and steadfast community.
Many of our community members have gone on to other leadership positions. I’m learning what it takes to be a strong and effective leader within the American Council of the Blind. Some of us have had breakdowns along the way. But, the community stepped in, and supported those of who had issues to deal with calls were conducted. Messages were sent.
We have learned how to challenge ourselves, how to step back, and how to deal with mistakes. I personally, have been told, that I apologize way too much. I’ve been working on that. But it was this community who brought it to my attention. The ACB values of honesty and integrity exemplified in our community is something that you just don’t see anywhere today.
We may have people with different beliefs, like religious beliefs, political beliefs, all around life beliefs. But that’s okay. Because this safe, respectful, and welcoming community invites everyone no matter what belief anyone has. No matter what guides anyone through life, everyone is accepted in this community. You don’t even have to be a member of the American Council of the Blind to be a part of our community. Would we like you to be a member? Of course we would. We would welcome everyone or anyone with open arms. But, it’s a choice. And we want everyone to feel like their choice is up to them.
So on this Saint Patrick’s day, when the leprechauns are among us, Krispy Kreme is selling green donuts, and bagel shops are even selling green bagels, I would like to say happy anniversary to the ACB community! I look forward to the next year of surprises, and events.
To learn more about ACB’s Community events, visit: https://acb.org/acb-community-events.