Highlights from my Life of Music and Ministry
Sunday, November 29, 2009
White Cane Day, 2009
Shelby, one of “my” kids, sings the theme from “The Sound Of Music” during this celebration of White Cane Safety Awareness Day, October 15, 2009. It was an honor to accompany her at the piano as I served as Master of Ceremonies for this celebration in Charleston, SC.
October 15th is recognized internationally as White Cane Safety Awareness Day. This day is set aside to recognize the white cane and to teach sighted people about the purpose and use of the white cane by the blind. During this special celebration, blind folks of all ages met at the Visitor’s Center on Meeting Street in Downtown Charleston. After a walk to Francis Marion Square, the program continued with a narrated presentation of The Colors. Elementary and secondary students were awarded for their participation in a story contest featuring the long, white cane. Then, God’s “outa sight” kids of all ages offered a variety of musical selections.
After the program, folks were treated to snacks and several different exhibits, including an authentic American Flag with raised stars and stripes, which could be touched!
This exhibit was inspired by Taylor, who took his first “hands-on” look at our country’s flag when my Camp Lakewood Vacation Bible School toured Grace United Methodist Church last July. As we watched Taylor “see” the flag for the first time in his fifteen years, my associates and I realized how important it was for others to have this opportunity. We asked that a hands-on flag be part of White Cane Day, and everyone agreed! When at the end of the day’s events the Color Guard presented me with this flag, I was literally speechless!
My thanks to Dixie Land Guide Dog Users, and the Charleston Chapter of the American Council of the Blind, for making “Music By Laurel Jean” part of this event. On this day, we celebrated God’s gifts: not only our independence as blind individuals, but also the freedom that we know as citizens of The United States of America.
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- God has blessed me with a Music Ministry that is still ongoing and growing after twenty-plus years. This includes my outreach promoting Braille Literacy in the Christian venue, and my recently-founded Children's Chaplaincy for blind youth. To make things a bit more interesting, I have also been blind since birth. I consider my blindness to be a unique gift from God, an opportunity to serve as an ambassador among blind and sighted folks of all ages, on all walks of life. To learn more about my work, from South Carolina to Central Illinois and beyond, please visit my Web site, and be sure to stay tuned to my Blog!