Federation for the Blind chapter seeks recognition in Manning
by Sharon Hall | June 29, 2017 2:08 pm
Last Updated: June 28, 2017 at 2:09 pm
National Federation for the Blind Manning chapter Secretary Sarah Massengale wants residents to know that the small organization is staying active in the community.
The Manning chapter is a small part of a large national organization. Most local members are senior citizens who have lost their sight later in life.
After taking over the NFBSC in Manning, Massengale said she noticed that there was a great need to let the community know that they are welcome to attend meetings to learn more about the federation and perhaps to quash any curiosities.
“We contribute to the (Clarendon County Council on Aging) because they are kind enough to let us use their facilities,” she said. “We contribute also to the national organization, to our state affiliate, and to the retreat and conference center of the blind, a state affiliate-sponsored conference center in Pickens County.”
Since Massengale has taken over as secretary, she wishes to form community partnerships so that the community can learn more about what blind people can do and that they are no different from those who are sighted.
Massengale said that one of her goals is to get the chapter active in establishing community partnerships. A Facebook page and a website for the Manning chapter will soon be completed.
A graduate of The South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, and of Converse College with a degree in vocal performance, Massengale started off in the chapter writing minutes for meetings before becoming more involved.
“In the fall, I anticipate attending college to obtain a second bachelor’s degree in public relations,” she said. “I noticed the disconnect between the Federation and the community, so I wish to create opportunities to reach out and let people know who we are and that we are here for partnership and assistance to the blind community.”
The chapter teaches its members that blindness is not a characteristic that defines a person or their future. The chapter also teaches its members that they can live the life they want and blindness should not hold them back. They work toward raising expectations for the blind person.
Massengale has been blind since birth. In her spare time, she is a semi-professional opera singer and has performed in shows throughout South Carolina. She strives to educate the general public about blindness and plans to one day be an ambassador for the blind community, especially for its younger members.
Meetings for the Manning chapter are held 7 p.m. every third Friday at the Clarendon County Council on Aging, 206 S. Church St. in Manning. A meal is provided at no cost, but participants are asked to bring an item.
“We want to eventually hold workshops specifically focusing on using technology and other daily life skills,” she said. “With a larger membership, we could educate more people and hold more fundraisers to hold more workshops.”
For more information, visit www.nfbofsc.org.