“I never heard of soccer balls with bells in them,” Zora Rockney said, despite all the time she has spent as a volunteer with the Louis Braille School and, before the school’s establishment, the many hours she volunteered at the Louis Braille Center (the Center, which provided various services for the blind and partially sighted communities around North Seattle, was dissolved in late 2005 and followed in 2006 by the opening of the Louis Braille School).
Zora’s long association with the Center and the School has inspired her to visit the Louis Braille School’s Web Site, where she learned that soccer balls with bells in them were one of the items on the school’s Wish List. Teacher Beckie has planned a soccer game for campers and their parents at this year’s summer Braille Camp, so soccer balls with audio aids in them were put on the list.
Zora thought the balls could be used during the school year, even before camp starts in July, and donated the money needed to purchase them.
Before choosing the soccer balls, Zora’s desire to give was attracted to art supplies.
One day last month she drove into the school parking lot and removed a large plastic bag from her car. Whatever was in the bag caused it to form stretch marks. She put the bag down on a chair in the lobby, then asked a staff member to carry it the rest of the way to the rear classroom.
The staff member who picked it up said he felt like a cartoon character who winds up pulling himself to a heavy bag instead of pulling the bag to him.
Maybe it’s no mystery as to how Zora managed the feat of strength.
She had lots of goodies in the bag and was determined to deliver them were they were needed.
Out came assorted art supplies, including glue sticks, sequins, glitter, and construction paper. No wonder the bag was so heavy. The paper was high-quality. “The sales clerk at the crafts store told me the higher quality of paper won’t fade,” Zora said.
Zora knows that Louis Braille School students will be making many booklets with construction paper. She chose the non-fading (and heavier) paper so the children’s work will last longer.
When Zora came to the Louis Braille Center several years ago, she was seeking a braille greeting card for a friend. She was impressed at how quickly the job was done. “In five minutes I had a card,” she recalled.
She began volunteering at the Center. Eventually she took up the study of braille.
After the Center dissolved in 2005, Zora resumed volunteer work by reading to children at the Louis Braille School. She also volunteered at summer Braille Camp.
At last year’s camp she spent time with a boy who loves multiplication tables and Beatles’ music. “We had a lot of fun together,” she said. “He would be listening to the Beatles when I would ask him another multiplication table question. He knew the right answer every time.”
As she thought of all her time spent with children at the Louis Braille School and summer Braille Camp, Zora wished she could buy every item on the Wish List.
“But sometimes it takes more than just looking and wishing,” she said. “Other people would probably love to give, but sometimes don’t know what to give. The Wish List gives them the opportunity to buy things that will be useful to the school.”