News Brief - April 2020

From our Executive Director, Barbara Loh:

Hopefully you all saw the excellent and touching article "Keeping an 'Eye' Out For Those In Need" on the front page of the Sunday Republican by Executive Editor Cynthia Simison about our AMAZING VOLUNTEERS at Valley Eye Radio . It was part of their COVID-19 "Angels Among Us" series and shared our mission of keeping our listeners informed and connected. It stressed the need for our accessible service everyday, but also stressed how we are needed even more during this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. Cynthia, who truly "gets it", wrote so beautifully:

“Fear. Sadness. Loneliness. Anxiety. These are the feelings all of us are experiencing in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. No one is immune.
Now imagine if you are blind, your sight is impaired or you have a disability that makes it difficult, if not impossible, for you to read anything online or in print?”

It is hard to imagine how scary that would be for those who have not had these challenges. So, we are here as always, without any disruptions. In fact, we have expanded our local offerings and information.

Please take a moment to read the article by clicking on the following link Then pass it on to your network. Our major goal is awareness of our unique, accessible local news and information broadcasting service so more who need it will use it. You could make the difference in someone's life, maybe a family member or neighbor or someone in your social circles, who could benefit.

"I meet the people who are listening to our programming, and it's a means to connect them with our community and fight social isolation."

That quote, highlighted in the article, is from our own Programming Coordinator Harold Anderson. With his expertise, devotion to his job, and commitment to our listeners (not to mention quick wit and sense of humor keeping us all on our toes!) -- in addition to our updated software from a Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts Capital grant and other funding that covers our
day-to-day operating expenses from the Davis Foundation, District 33Y Lions Clubs, and our underwriters, supporters and donors--we are able to stay on the air even during the current challenges.

But we have financial challenges ahead as we await what the state funding picture will be since that funding has provided almost half of our lean budget. We will be calling on our ever-supportive local legislators in the months ahead as well as all of you on May 5 when Giving Tuesday Now will be happening to help non-profits like ours who need financial support. We will have more information on that coming up.

In the meantime, stay well and stay informed and thanks once again to our AMAZING VOLUNTEERS!!! You keep us on the air, and we are so grateful.

  • On Monday, March 16th, with the Coronavirus situation becoming more pressing with major restrictions on gatherings being made and news changing rapidly, Valley Eye Radio put into action our long planned local programming expansion to bring our listeners the important information they need from our newspaper partners.

  • Our weekday local programming was expanded to include these changes:
    9 am – Springfield Republican (incl. Saturday and Sunday at 10:00 am)
    10:30 am – Westfield News (incl. Saturday at 9:30 am)
    11:00 am – Daily Hampshire Gazette (incl. Saturday and Sunday)
    Noon – Greenfield Recorder (incl. Saturday and Sunday)
    (these programs are rebroadcast beginning at 7 pm that same evening)

    5:00 pm – NY Times *
    6:00 pm – Boston Globe *
    (* from another affiliate of the MA Audio Information Network (MAIN) - TIC)

  • Every day, Valley Eye Radio is providing our listeners with important information on Covid-19 including important service and information updates from David D’Arcangelo, Commissioner of the MA Commission for the Blind (seen here with Barbara Loh, our Executive Director), the Veterans Administration (VA), local senior service agencies and more.

Happy Birthday to all of our dedicated volunteers who were born in the month of April: Dana had her day on the 2nd, Eddie celebrated on the 6th, Elaine has her cake and presents on the 11th, Mary B. gets her wishes on the 18th, Jacqueline enjoys the 22nd and Paul begins another trip around the sun on the 29th.

Happy Birthday wishes to all!

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