The Lynchburg community has been active in supporting programs for people with visual impairments since the 1930s, beginning with a basket weaving program for blind people that was held at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Lynchburg. By 1980, Peakland Baptist Church was running the basket weaving class for people. In 1982 when Interfaith Outreach Association (originally Kum-ba-Yah) was founded, Pastor Nathan Brooks of Peakland Baptist Church who was also a founder of Interfaith Outreach Association decided to turn the basket weaving class over to Interfaith Outreach Association.
Upon surveying the changing vision needs of the community over a 2 year period beginning in 2011, IOA discovered that there was an ever-growing number of people with new vision needs that were not being serviced. IOA decided it was time to do something to help this underserved community. In 2012, the basket weaving classes returned to the faith community as Calvary Baptist Church took over facilitation of the group.
IOA’s newly revamped vision program, VIP (Vision Information and Programs) began September 2013 and consists of the following components:
VIP Support Groups
VIP Support Groups — Facilitated by our VIP Coordinator, individuals and their caregivers meet monthly to share and discuss the challenges and solutions to making lifestyle changes to adjust to loss of vision. All VIP support group meetings are free and open to the public.
VIP Volunteers — Volunteers are needed to be trained to provide free transportation for visually challenged to medical appointments and grocery shopping. Extensive background checks are required, which include driving record, insurance coverage and criminal background. People with visual challenges in need of transportation will be processed through the VDBVI assistance program. If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer, please fill out this application and return it to the address on the application.