By Sue Lichtenfels, PCB President
As you can imagine, my seven-year-old is all about making her gift lists for Santa. At her age, she doesn’t yet appreciate that she’s been getting gifts all year long. Perhaps if we wrapped each pack of candy or each toy acquired throughout the year in bright paper and a sparkly bow, she would recognize the treats for what they are. Then again, perhaps she wouldn’t. It’s been my experience that none of us truly appreciate the gifts we have been given until they are gone or until someone points them out to us. Let’s consider some of the gift’s PCB has given to us.
Each month, PCB offers a menu of discussion calls designed to give the gifts of peer and organizational engagement. Both the Membership and Vision Loss teams host calls to provide fellowship and guidance on a wide variety of topics. Every other month our Advocacy Team brings forward issues impacting the independence of and opportunities for people with vision loss. During the opposite months, PCB’s leaders share news about what’s going on inside PCB and solicit feedback from our members during Organization Open House calls. Remember that each of these discussion calls is a gift to all, including members of other organizations. An additional perk of this gift is a toll-free phone number to enjoy these discussions without any cost to participants.
Another PCB gift that keeps giving throughout the year is the PCB Information Line. Available 24 hours a day, at your convenience, the line provides much more than a simple organizational update. And this December, our Communications Team will be overhauling the information line to provide you with even more interesting content. Call 773-572-6314 to enjoy the new menu of selections coming soon:
1 About PCB– an organization overview, contact information, and Getting to Know Us membership guide.
2 Member Inbox– PCB announcements, updates, news releases, and messages.
3 Monthly Calendar– a listing of discussion calls, meetings, and events.
4 The PCB Advocate– our quarterly information-packed, peer publication.
5 PCB Conference Connection– archives of past conferences and info about future ones.
6 Peer Perspectives– a replay of select peer discussion calls.
7 Talking Advocacy — where the audio empowers us all.
8 Member Mic– where we highlight podcasts, presentations, and performances by our members.
9 Vision Loss News and Nuggets– informative and interesting posts culled from our email listservs.
And stop back at least once a month to unwrap a new collection of information.
It’s not just PCB members on the receiving end of PCB gifts, but also its chapters. Several years ago, PCB revised its raffle ticket sales program to give the gift of profit sharing to its chapters. Yet again in 2019, PCB will take on all of the administrative details of the Six-Month Calendar Raffle while chapters simply sell tickets and profit. PCB handles
acquiring the raffle license, printing and distributing tickets, entering ticket holder data into a spreadsheet, tracking winning numbers, making sure checks get mailed out to winners, and paying each chapter for their share of the profits. It’s time for chapter leaders to once again partake of this gift by calling the PCB office to order an allotment of tickets for your chapter’s 2019 fundraising.
Each year as we plan for our conference, PCB strives to give financial gifts in the form of subsidies and scholarships. We provide funds for up to five individuals across three categories to attend our conference for the first time. And in 2019, one of our first-time student participants will also be awarded $500 towards his or her tuition. For the last two years, PCB gave a $10 per night room subsidy for convention-goers. Each year, our conference planners seek out sponsors, so PCB can give attendees discounted rates for meals and activities. It’s very likely that the most popular financial gift we gave this year was a free conference experience to all of those who could not physically attend the event. By streaming our conference through ACB Radio’s various communication channels, many were able to enjoy the conference virtually. Consider joining us in Harrisburg October 17-20, for the 2019 PCB Conference and Convention, where the gift truly is in the experience.
I really could go on and on in my perusal of the PCB gift gallery. I haven’t mentioned the pcb1.org website where PCB’s two newest gifts for you are the leadership development section and the 2018 conference archives including the Bag It Up performance. Nor have I touched on the gifts of independence and opportunity that PCB promotes in all of its advocacy and education efforts. And then there is this very publication which we give you four times each year in your preferred format.
Really, there is no end to PCB’s gift-giving season, it continues throughout the year.
In closing I wish you a wonderful holiday season and healthy New Year. I leave you with a gift of philosophy, that as a parent and volunteer, I can affirm is true: it is better to give than to receive. While I try to instill this lesson in my daughter, I hope you will consider what gifts of service you can offer to PCB as we begin our work in 2019. Reach out to me through email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone to 412-480-9696 and together we’ll figure out where your gifts of time and talent can best make an impact in PCB.