State's Training Center for Blind Persons Donates $4,259 to Kalamazoo Charities

Annual Holiday Fundraising Auction Benefits Loaves & Fishes and Gospel Mission

Media Contact: LARA Communications 517-373-9280

January 9, 2017 - Two Kalamazoo charities received a gift that will keep on giving thanks to the Michigan Bureau of Services for Blind Persons (BSBP) Training Center. Through its annual holiday auction, the Training Center donated $2,318 to Loaves and Fishes and $1,941 to Gospel Mission. 

“It’s become a long-standing tradition where we raise money for local charities and have a lot fun doing it,” said BSBP Director William Robinson. “It’s simply our way of giving back to the Kalamazoo community that’s been home to our facility for so many years.”

For the past 25 years, the Training Center has hosted the event with proceeds going to local charities. This year, approximately 56 staff and guests, including retirees and alumni, brought a dish to pass and donated a plethora of auction items including recurring fun relics, homemade goodies, attic treasures and gift cards. Winning bids ranged from $350 for a homemade wagon, to $80 for a blueberry pie, to $1 for leftover items.

The Training Center is a 24/7 residential facility that provides individualized tailored training services to help blind and low vision students from around the state reach their maximum potential and goals for employment and independent living. Training and services include travel skills, adaptive kitchen skills, Braille, communication, technology and computers, personal management, industrial arts, occupational therapy/career planning and counseling. The Training Center works in tandem with other BSBP programs and counselors in the field to help ensure the highest possible outcomes for employment and independence of its clients.

The Bureau of Services for Blind Persons provides training and other services for individuals who are blind or visually impaired to achieve employment and/or independence in the careers of their choice. For more information about BSBP or the Training Center, visit  or call toll-free: 800-292-4200, (TTY 888-864-1212).

Currently, there are more than 228,000* citizens in Michigan with a prevalence for vision loss and that number is expected to increase as baby boomers age.

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* American Foundation for the Blind (2013)