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Impact Grant: Braille Institute Coachella Valley

News Channel 3 and the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation presented another Impact Grant in February to a local nonprofit working to improve lives and help those in need.

A $25,000 charitable gift was awarded to Braille Institute Coachella Valley to benefit veterans, police officers and firefighters.

"Braille Institute is an assistant in life. It's like your right hand," Navy veteran Victor Delgado said. Delgado is blind in one eye, and has low vision in the other. The 74-year-old from Indio said he depends on his digital optical device, called a Ruby, on a daily basis.

"So you put the Ruby on top of your cell phone, and you can read it. You can participate in life," he said.

The handheld device was provided to him free of charge on long-term loan by the Braille Institute Coachella Valley. The nonprofit has launched a new optical device program for veterans, police officers and firefighters.

"They serve us. And what an honorable way for us to show them we appreciate them, so I'm really excited about the program," Braille Institute low-vision occupational therapist Desiree Lanford said.

The devices can cost up to $3,000 each, which is cost prohibitive for many people on fixed incomes. The Braille Institute said veterans and retired police and firefighters are underserved.

"We would love to put them in the hands of people in need that have low vision. And so we're able to help them become more independent in their everyday activities using these devices," Lanford said.

The $25,000 Impact Grant will help to honor and support our community's veterans and first responders with low vision by enhancing their quality of life.

"On behalf of News Channel 3 and the Berger Foundation, we want to thank you for all you do, and we are so excited to be involved in this program with you for the veterans, the police and the firemen," said Catharine Reed, Vice President of Charitable Programs for the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation during the check presentation.

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Peter Daut


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