LVCB: Transitions + Adjustments + Support = A Thriving Organization

By Elizabeth Oleksa, LVCB President

 

The winter months not only brought much cold weather, snow and wind, but also has blown in some challenges for our members, which transforms into transitions. As of January 1, 2022, the LVCB new officers began in their new roles. Before introducing them here, I would first like to recognize the fantastic efforts and work from our officers the past 2 years. Gary Dvorshak, President; Dorothy Montero, Vice President; Jameel Memon, Treasurer; Elaine Young, Recording Secretary; and Dianne Michels, Corresponding Secretary. A huge thank you to each one of you for all your hard work during the COVID Pandemic, and still making our meeting and outreach be the best it could be in the given circumstances.

 

With a new year, new officers have come along. We now welcome the following individuals into their new or returning roles, and look forward to another year of growth, outreach and advocacy. Elizabeth Oleksa, President; Gary Dvorshak, Vice President; Jameel Memon, Treasurer; Elaine Young, Recording Secretary; and Dianne Michels, Corresponding Secretary.

 

As mentioned above, there have been many transitions for our members and officers in personal lives over the past several months. Vice President Gary Dvorshak’s son passed away. Member Frank Gasper’s wife passed away in January. President Elizabeth Oleksa’s husband passed away the beginning of February. Several other members have been dealing with severely ill family members or even illnesses themselves. I am mentioning all these things for a very important reason: the number of adjustments in everyday life after dealing with any forms of loss, trauma or crisis takes a significant amount of time to work through. However, the Lehigh Valley Council of the Blind is not only an advocacy and peer support network for individuals living with sight loss and blindness, but a place where we can all lean on one another through all hardships we encounter in our lives.

 

The support, encouragement, and empowerment that is shared within our community has brought us all so much closer together, as a large extension of family. Countless members and our officers have stated how this specific aspect of our chapter truly allows us to stand out among others similar to us. Yes, we obviously offer support in the areas of sight loss, blindness, education, employment and transportation, just to name a few. However, when we all take that extra step toward providing one another with “Life” support, the bonds and connections that are made bring us all even closer together.

 

We share our heart-aches and trials, as well as our excitements, accomplishments and achievements in life. The constant support, love and encouragement that is received by all those who need it is truly heartwarming. For this reason, and many many others, I am proud to be not only a member, but the current President of LVCB.

 

Now, with the months getting warmer and the sun shining upon our skin and the summer months quickly approaching, as we begin looking ahead, the LVCB chapter has begun meeting in person for our monthly meetings again. For those who are not able to yet join us in person, we are using a “free conference call” phone line where members can still call in and be a part of our meetings. A hybrid-attendance of sorts.

 

We continue to witness our membership growing, as of now, we are up to 37 members and still growing. Our members range from 18 years old up through 86 years old. Each individual in our chapter brings a different perspective and a variety of gifts, talents and strengths to add into the “growing with the ages” mindset.

 

We are active on social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram. Our website brings a significant amount of traffic to our email inbox as well as new people coming to check out our meetings. If you have not had an opportunity to check out the LVCB website, it can be found by going to: www.lvcb1993.org.

 

With each new day that passes, new challenges are presented, new obstacles must be overcome and new accomplishments can be achieved for us all to be proud of and celebrated. We feel strongly about advocating for the needs of accessible technology, accessible health care, and more accessible aspects of life. In this, the Publicity and Programming Committee is proud to be bringing in a variety of guest speakers in the coming months.

 

All in all, we who are the Lehigh Valley Council of the Blind are keeping our heads held high, working through these life challenges with the support of each other, and hoping for a continued wonderful year. Every new day is an opportunity for growth, transition, gentle challenges and expansion. Together, we strive to thrive, no matter what comes our ways.

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