Blind Children’s Learning Center was selected to be one of Junior League of Orange County’s (JLOCC) Community Partners in 2012. Over the past five years, the women of JLOCC have displayed passion, commitment and volunteerism, and have enriched the lives of the Center’s children and families, the staff and Board of Directors. JLOCC members have shared their time, talents and skills to change the lives of hundreds of children with a visual impairments.
JLOCC started their community partnership with BCLC by hosting an outing of outrigger paddling for children and their families. This was followed by another family event at Pretend City. Advocacy and education efforts came next for BCLC families, and a speaker brought in by JLOCC provided information on special education law. Members got to know the center better by holding General Membership Meetings at the Center and learned more about the BCLC program information at the BCLC Board Retreat. It was at this retreat that members really connected with the BCLC mission. Members were introduced to speech therapy, Braille exercises and tactile training taking place in the preschool classroom.
During the League’s time with BCLC, members have volunteered hundreds of hours to make holidays and celebrations special for families. Members facilitated school activities such as Graduations, Holiday Programs, Back to School Nights and Dr. Seuss Week.
JLOCC has purchased equipment and funded trainings. JLOCC has sponsored yoga and karate classes, specifically for children with special needs, created a new play area within BCLC’s gated parking lot, bought sports equipment and purchased BCLC’s first shed to safely store this equipment. JLOCC has also provided musical instruments and music classes, so children could learn the arts.
Kathy Buehler, Executive Director of BCLC, had this to say when asked about working with the League over the past five years.
“Every Junior League volunteer with whom we’ve interacted has been incredibly kind and willing to support our mission in whatever way possible. We’ve enjoyed having Courtney Boitano, Jennifer Dluzak and Devon Pfeil serve on our board, and we are extremely grateful to Rosia Bruno who continues to serve as a BCLC board member. On behalf of Blind Children’s Learning Center, I want to personally thank all the members of JLOCC for five years of collaboration as a community partner and for helping us prepare children with visual impairments for a life of independence through early intervention, education, and family support.”
Throughout the past five years, Junior League of Orange County, Ca and the Blind Children’s Learning Center have created the ultimate community partnership. The heartfelt work of the League’s Volunteers, combined with the tireless efforts of the staff at BCLC has allowed both organizations to flourish. JLOCC plans to continue working with the center through our Impact OC Committee. We look forward to many more years of collaboration.