Reading Friends Program Launches in Longview

Reading Friends Program Launches in Longview

LONGVIEW (KYTX) - Jeannine Faires spends most of her time inside of her apartment at
this retirement community. In 2001, she began to lose her vision and for the last couple of years she has only been able to basic colors,and shapes.

"It's very, very hard. And it's not something that gets easier." Jeannine Faires, Legally Blind

She says the worst part about being legally blind is not being able to enjoy things she used to.

"Jeannine's vision used to look like this, and she could read anything she wanted. But overtime it started to blur." - Kevin Boyce

A partnership between Mobberly Baptist Church and Buckner Westminster in Longview is trying to help ease Faires' handicap.  The Reading Friends Program will pair Faires with a volunteer that will come each week to read to her.

"It opens new doors for me, new outlets. It keeps me in the know with what's going on in the world."

Creator Wes Wells says having that knowledge to start conversations helps these retirees have better relationships with others.

"Some loss of independence, some feelings of isolation. A lot of times people don't know what to do, so they become withdrawn. This is a great way to stop that." - Wes Wells, Executive Director

Volunteer Kimberly Shelton has been paired with Faires, and says she needs Jeannine as much as Jeannine needs her.

"Not only am I helping her, but she's helping me. She is very wise, and she can be a mentor to me." -Kimberly Shelton, Volunteer

Shelton says she will get her 10, and 11 year old children to come volunteer as well.

"I am a believer that everyone needs someone to talk to."

The program is small right now, but organizers hope to spread it
throughout the community.

To Volunteer or request service, contact Buckner Westminster and ask for Wes Wells. - (903) 234-0000



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