Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Today is deadline for donations to Wish List

By Peggy O'Farrell
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Today is the deadline for giving to Wish List.

The Enquirer's 2003 Wish List
Wishes have been granted for several individuals and families in need of everyday items, and this year's donations are within a few thousand dollars of meeting last year's totals, says Jennifer Bieger, manager for the United Way of Greater Cincinnati. As of Tuesday, 1,370 donors had contributed $134,217 to the project. Last year, donations totaled $136,827 from 1,632 donors.

Donations can make all the difference for Wish List clients.

Gina Brown, 39, of English Woods, got an extra Christmas present when Hamilton County Educational Services provided her with a Braille 'n Speak.

"They had it all wrapped up in Christmas paper with a bow on it," she said. Underdeveloped optic nerves allow her to see only shadows, outlines and silhouettes. Brown can't make out details or colors.

The device, about the size of a desktop calculator, has a keyboard with Braille characters and allows users to hear the words they are typing, or to replay information read to her at the touch of a button. It also lets users store phone numbers and addresses and keep track of appointments.

Without the device, she had to keep track of important information by inserting index cards into a Braille slate and using a stylus to write out the information.

But her arthritis makes the process difficult, and it's easy to lose track of the index cards.

The United Way manages the Wish List project, which is sponsored by The Enquirer.To contribute or for more information, call 721-7900.


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