When the Oral Hull Foundation was burglarized in late March 2007, the staff and volunteers of the 45-year-old organization for the blind were not only at a loss for words, but at a loss for resources.

President Tom Ciesielski, Priscilla McCree & former president James McCree
President Tom Ciesielski, Priscilla McCree & former president James McCree
One late March day, their groundskeeper, Greg Stadstad, arrived to find a Red Skelton picture, one of many which Oral Hull used for auctions to raise funds for the foundation, lying on the lawn and the foundation office ransacked. Among the stolen items were work computers, accessible software programs and personal records of current and former camp attendees.

Oral Hull, which operates primarily on volunteer support, was in the midst of preparing for their next blindness camp, before discovering the devastation to their charitable organization. “The initial reaction was understandably one of disbelief and anger. One of the things that our members always felt positive about Oral Hull Park is that it offered them a safe haven. The burglary was really a wake up call…….unfortunately,” said Jeff Lann, Director of the Oral Hull foundation.

With donation support, Oral Hull was able to replace some of their lost goods. However, the camp office was still in need of other aids. When Oregon-based ViewPlus Technologies got wind of the burglary, they immediately took action. “We were shocked that someone could victimize a non-profit organization that provides such wonderful and extensive services to those with visual impairments in our community,” says Jeff Gardner, ViewPlus CEO. “We felt we had to get involved to offer our support.”

On May 11th, 2007, ViewPlus was proud to present Oral Hull with a donation of equipment and software valued at more than $4400, including a state-of-the-art Braille printer – something Oral Hull had never before been able to afford. The foundation embraced this technology, pleased that they are now able to create accessible materials for their camp attendees and foundation members.

“We have 45 visually impaired people scheduled to come out over Memorial Day Weekend. Approximately 30 of them are new to the Oral Hull Foundation and we will have our menus and schedules available to everyone in Braille. The (ViewPlus Braille printer) is user-friendly and a great addition to Oral Hull Park”, said Lann.

Oral Hull was founded in 1962 and is located 3 miles outside of Sandy, Oregon. The 23 acre foundation strives to provide a place for the blind and sighted to congregate and enjoy an accessible environment.

For more information about the Oral Hull Foundation, please visit www.oralhull.org. If you would like to make a donation, you may contact Jeff Lann at oralhull (at) teleport.com. Select this link to read the Oregonian article http://www.oregonlive.com/printer/printer.ssf?/base/living/1174436718204750.xml&coll=7

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