Seedlings Braille Books is a non-profit organization here in Michigan that produces braille books for blind children from toddlers to 14 years of age. For a small donation of $10, Seedlings will send you an elegant gift card and envelope indicating that a braille book was inscribed in the name of your loved one and will soon be on it’s way to an eager braille reader. (Donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law.)
Reading has always been my passion, so this is a cause near and dear to my heart. As a disabled person, I often lived vicariously through books as a child, doing all the things in my mind’s eye that my feet wouldn't let me. Reading was a refuge and my best friend. Seedlings helps make it possible for blind children to discover the wonders of reading too. Here’s a little background information from the Seedlings web site:
At this time, less than 20% of the 50,000 blind children in the United States are proficient in braille. All too often, the written word has been inaccessible to them, and this is what we are hoping to change.
Braille books are provided at each level of development, from toddler board books to classic literature for older children. Just as sighted children learn to "read" as they are exposed to the printed word, so do visually impaired children who are exposed to the tactile page at an early age.
As a non-profit organization, Seedlings sells its books for considerably less than it costs to make them. Support is very broad based and comes from individuals, philanthropic groups, corporations and private foundations. Seedlings receives no government or United Way funds. Thanks to hundreds of generous donors and dedicated, hard working volunteers, the price of Seedlings' books remains far below actual production costs, averaging only $10 per book.
Seedlings has nearly 700 titles available and has mailed books to all 50 states, Canadian provinces and several foreign countries. Check out Seedlings to learn more and make a donation. Your $10 gift will be priceless to a blind child.