Blind workers create and sell Mother’s Day baskets Downtown

Introduction

Helen Keller Gifts Program provides employment opportunities to individuals who are legally blind.

News

Tracy Dixon, a client of Helen Keller Services for the Blind
Crafted with care: Tracy Dixon, a client of Helen Keller Services for the Blind, packs Mother's Day baskets at the organization's Downtown headquarters on April 29

Unhampered! Blind workers create and sell Mother’s Day baskets Downtown

BY ANNA RUTH RAMOS

for Brooklyn Paper

Clients at Downtown’s Helen Keller Services for the Blind — an organization that offers training and support for the legally blind — are hard at work designing, assembling, and selling Mother’s Day gift baskets ahead of the May 8 holiday.

The organization pays the basket-builders for their labor, and the crafters say it feels great to do meaningful work that they know will brighten recipients’ days.

“I feel happy and I’m doing this for a good cause,” said Tracy Dixon, who worked as a mail clerk for more than 12 years when she started to lose her sight, and is now able to put many of her clerical skills to use in the basket program.

Dixon has been a client at Helen Keller for the past year — where she now takes computer classes, and participates in a book club and group therapy — and says the organization’s programs keep her going.

“We do this for hope,” Dixon said. “There are some things we can do.”

The wicker-workers have created two baskets for pampering the family matriarch — one containing Italian food, the other beauty products — and organizers expect they will sell and assemble 80 to 100 before the special day.

Helen Keller first launched the gift basket program for Valentine’s Day, and hopes to eventually expand it year-round.