College Scholarship Winner

For me, the weekend before Easter is something  to smile about. Every year on this weekend, I take part in an event that is extraordinary: an Easter egg hunt. This, however, is no ordinary Easter egg hunt. Put together by the Lighthouse for the Blind and held at the local Lions Club, this occasion brings together families from my community who have young children with visual impairments or who are completely blind.

Colorful beeping Easter eggs are placed generously all over the property to be found by numerous adorably eager children. Special Easter crafts, games such as guided musical chairs, and Braille storybook reading all help to make this event an amazing experience for little ones who may not have otherwise had the ability to celebrate this holiday. Smiling is contagious here. As a volunteer, I help guide children on the hunt along the property, watching the excitement rush to their faces in the form of many a cute, toothy grin as they follow the beeping eggs’ sound to victory. Each discovery of a new egg pile renews their sense of wonder at how their baskets fill to overflowing until eventually, I help to carry three for the little boy I am assisting. His happiness at this achievement exudes.

After the beeping eggs are traded in for additional prizes, the smiles continue as the children are guided through a paper craft- constructing an Easter Bunny- and their creations are as beautiful as their enthusiasm. Smiling as wide as their bunnies, the children and their families gather around a teacher from the Lighthouse who reads a color-themed storybook in Braille. Pure joy and awe culminate as tiny fingers reach to touch the words they hear being spoken. A slow smile forming across a four year old’s face reveals that she has recognized what the color red feels like. The realization that each and every one of them can read and experience aspects of life just as others do first captivates the children, and then leads to another contagion of smiles. Parents’ eyes proudly water as they watch their children become aware of a sense of opportunity they had yet to know. Kids later try on visual impairment simulator glasses and get to experience what it’s like to walk in their little siblings’ shoes. The experience is enlightening and humbling to all. At the end of the day, the elation and pride felt by our tiny attendees is so evident and inspiring that one just can’t help but smile.

Past Scholarship Winners