White Cane Day is a national observance, established by President Lyndon Johnson in 1964. The day is set aside to celebrate the many achievements of people who are blind and visually impaired, and their important symbol of independence, the white cane.
In previous years, we have held a procession of more than 100 blind and visually impaired Miamians walking with white canes and guide dogs, as well as, many sighted volunteers, beginning at 601 SW 8th Ave. and proceeding down 8th street and then back to Miami Lighthouse’s campus.
This year however, in keeping with the times and social distancing, we are going virtual. This is the one time of year we ask our grateful clients to give back to this remarkable place that many call their second home.
My name is Belkis Alonso, and I am 53 years old. I was born in Cuba with perfect sight and beautiful eyes. During my teenage years, I developed a disease that was unknown in my country (Duhring, dermatitis herpetiform). When they finally treated my Duhring, I lost my sight. I then went for 22 experimental surgeries instead of treatments. Fortunately, I gained back the vision of one eye and I feel grateful for that every day of my life. I am the mother of two beautiful "kids" (a grandmother too) and I was able to watch my family grow up.
One year ago, I came to this beautiful country full of energy and was ready to start from scratch and build my life up again. I Googled some information about blind services/low vision support and gladly found the Division for Blind Services. I met my counselor Ms. Delcie Pasco who mentored and guided me every step of the way. I learned from her that everything is possible, especially in the USA with all the available technology. She referred me to receive services from the Miami Lighthouse. I had the immense pleasure to meet Diana and Samly among others -- incredibly helpful individuals who strengthened my abilities by making me more independent and also teaching me to cope with some of my incapacities.
Today I am a proud member of the Miami Lighthouse, and with their assistance I am employed by Amazon. Despite some situations during this COVID period, the instructors have been there for me with virtual training, daily encouragement and most important: support. They make me feel that they care about me and listen, provide feedback and they don't let me take any steps backwards while encouraging me to continue fighting, and never give up. Thank you to all these wonderful people!
Please make a gift to support me on White Cane Day by clicking the DONATE NOW button below. Your donation will help continue the many life affirming and transformational programs Miami Lighthouse offers.
Miami Lighthouse is AER accredited distinguishing that an agency or school operates at the highest level of quality and is positioned to generate the outcomes needed by the clients.
Miami Lighthouse received the prestigious 2020 award for "Best in Nonprofit" campaign by PRWeek referred to as the "Oscars of the PR industry".
Miami Lighthouse ranks among the elite 1% of U.S. nonprofits having earned 13 consecutive 4-star ratings from Charity Navigator, the nation's premier independent nonprofit evaluator. Receiving such a distinction reflects our sound fiscal management, responsible use of donor dollars, and financial strength.
Miami Lighthouse has earned the Gold participation level through the GuideStar Exchange which is a testament to Miami Lighthouse's commitment to data transparency.
Early Intervention Blind Babies Program Named the Children's Trust 2016 Program of the Year. This most prestigious award recognizes this Early Intervention Program, in particular, for including parents as teachers.
Miami Lighthouse Learning Center for Children™ is a Florida gold seal and nationally Accredited Professional Preschool Learning Environment (APPLE)
Miami Lighthouse was recognized at the 2015 Florida Blue Foundation Sapphire Awards luncheon as an organization that has demonstrated excellence and innovation in community health.
Miami Lighthouse received the prestigious 2015 Beacon Award in Education at the 13th Annual Beacon Council Awards.
Miami Lighthouse is a two-time Charity Partner (2013 and 2014) of the Marlins Foundation and a 2017 Major League Baseball All-Star Game Legacy Partner. Our Florida Heiken Children's Vision Program has received over $300,000 in charitable donations through these partnerships.
Miami Lighthouse received the prestigious 2008 Concern Award from Health Foundation of South Florida.
Miami Lighthouse received a Silver medal at the 2016 Miami Today Gold Medal Awards Ceremony.
Miami Lighthouse named "Best of Miami" Charity 2017 by the New Times.
Miami Lighthouse received United Homecare's 2012 Thelma Gibson Community Service Award at the 18th Annual Claude Pepper Memorial Awards Ceremony.
Miami Lighthouse received the prestigious South Florida Business Journal 2011 Excellence in Health Care Award in the Community Outreach category.
Miami Lighthouse honored by being named the recipient of the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce 2010 Non-Profit Business Diamond Award.