We are excited to start sharing stories with you that we hope you find heartwarming, inspiring and informative about the things we’re doing at Spark to help people in our community. We are so happy to be able to assist those in need, especially during a pandemic. From adapting 100 toys partnering with the Knox Makers and handing them out at Christmas time to having our volunteer construct an adapted chopping board for someone to be able to cook that had a stroke, we are always thinking of ways to make daily living a little easier. Our brilliant IT staff member even adapted a toy to make it motion activated to give to a very sweet young lady in hospice care so she could have a toy of her own.


This past week, we held a class for a couple of our low/no vision clients to learn about the differences in screenreaders JAWS and NVDA. The teacher was a blind young man who has volunteered in many organizations sharing his 15 years of knowledge with those applications. We’re planning to offer additional learning opportunities in the near future.


We also met a darling woman with low vision who was looking for a CCTV (magnifier) so she could read her books. We provide demonstrations of this equipment to see if it can work for you. She was not able to see the monitor, but we had a device that can read whatever text you lay on the platform and she was easily able to use that device and exclaimed “I can hear it!” as she cried happy tears (I did, too). The freedom to be able to accomplish your goals is always a beautiful thing.


We received a call from a home health professional looking for a lift chair. We normally do not take those as donations, since they are quite large, heavy and past donations of those chairs have come in not working and repairing them is difficult, to say the least. I told her that we do not have them and gave her some suggestions on where to look for one online. The next day, we received a donation from a hospital and they happened to have a lift chair on their truck. They were not sure where they were going to take it, so we offered to take it knowing we had someone in need of one. It was in beautiful condition and he assured us it was in good working condition. I called the home health organization that had called us and she called the patient’s caregiver right away. He called me back and said his wife is in need of this chair. He is her primary caretaker and he was having difficulty lifting her. He was so grateful for this assistance-he told me that it would be a huge blessing. His son came within the hour to pick up the chair! It happened so fast we didn’t even have time to test it. Our durable medical coordinator realized that it did not have the power cord. He was able to use one from one of our hospital beds and made it work!


We love working together as a team to find solutions, assistance, independence through technology and even joy!