Written by Shelley Ann Morris, Recruitment and Referral Services Coordinator, Volunteer Ottawa
I was asked to manage our 2010 United Way fund raising campaign for our organization, Volunteer Ottawa. I know nothing about raising money, but I do know about raising awareness about blindness—I am visually impaired.
As a small fundraising endeavour that would involve my colleagues and take up little of their workday, a “Dessert in the Dark” party was a good choice. All participants would pay a small amount of money to play, and would be served some delicious treats—all while wearing blindfolds.
On November 24, seven of my work mates gathered in the hallway, put on their blindfolds, washed their hands in a darkened bathroom and made their way to the kitchen. Desserts included smooth yogurt, spicy apple crisp, chocolate cupcakes with wrappers, grapes, raspberries and cheesecake; what a variety of tastes, textures and smells! We even threw in some of that individually wrapped cheese that is tricky to open, even if you can see. We had juice and water as hot beverages might prove a little risky to those who had been newly plunged into darkness.
The noise and laughter could be heard all through our office—people called out to each other as they made their way along the halls. They laughed and talked loudly once they sat down. “I don’t have enough on my spoon!” “What IS this?” “What flavor of yogurt is this—tastes citrus.” Everyone was feeling around trying to find the stack of napkins that had been placed on the table.
When the blindfolds came off, they were surprised to find out what they had just eaten. Some plates were almost clean while others looked like a food explosion! Everyone was quite surprised at how well they had been able to determine the different kinds of goodies they had been served, proving that a world without vision is not a world without lots of sensory input.
I was careful to remind them that I had been born sight-impaired, and that was very different from being unable to see all of a sudden.
I would like to thank my colleague Paula and one of our volunteers, Jacki for their help during our event.
Who knows what we will do next year!
Upcoming United Way Fundraising Event
2010 Vendors Market, November 26th, 11:00am t0 3:00pm
United Way Office, 363 Coventry Road (Right across the street from Best Buy & Cdn Tire)
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1K 2C5
Hope to see you there!
Here’s a “Taste” of some of goodies that will be showcased:
|United Way Ottawa|
|2010 Staff Committee Vendors Market|
|Food Products||Sunset Gourmet||Mixes for breads, dips, drinks, jams, chutneys & more|
|Strathmere Kitchens||Jams, Chutney, Biscotti|
|Val’s Jams||Homemade Jams & Gift Basket Accessories|
|Dolci Bake Shop||Gluten-free Baking|
|Silver Desire||Silver Jewelry|
|Mel-Lo Designs||Jewelry & Belt Buckles|
|Glass & Wire Jewelry||Glass Beads, Wire Jewelry|
|Clothing & more|
|Tony’s Fashions||Clothing, Pashminas, Jewelry|
|ICAfrica||Ugandan Jewelry, Clothing & Gifts|
|Kasey’s Art||Photography, Art & Photo Cards|
|Pampered Chef||Kitchenware, Cooking Ingredients & more|
|Executive Fitness||Chair Massages & Executive Fitness memberships|
|Discovery Toys||Baby & Toddlers Learning Toys|
|Beauticontrol Spa Products||Self-care & Beauty Products|
|Norwex Enviro Products||Enviro-friendly Household Products|
|Brymark Display||UW Brand Products|
|Entertainment Books||Entertainment coupon books|