White Cane Day is a national observance, established by President Lyndon Johnson in 1964. The day is set aside to celebrate the many achievements of people who are blind and visually impaired, and their important symbol of independence, the white cane.
In previous years, we have held a procession of more than 100 blind and visually impaired Miamians walking with white canes and guide dogs, as well as, many sighted volunteers, beginning at 601 SW 8th Ave. and proceeding down 8th street and then back to Miami Lighthouse’s campus.
This year however, in keeping with the times and social distancing, we are going virtual. This is the one time of year we ask our grateful clients to give back to this remarkable place that many call their second home.
My name is Herb Klein. Sixteen years ago, at the age of 62, I was driving at night with an R.N. friend who suspected I had “night blindness”. Indeed, I was subsequently diagnosed with macular degeneration. At the time there were no injections available, but I had several laser treatments. All along my vision kept getting worse.
A brief Bio on me – After graduating from Miami Dade College, I received a scholarship from Oleg Cassini, the Designer who created many of Jackie Kennedy’s outfits, to continue my studies at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York where my passion for fashion flourished. I enjoyed my career for many years and when I began to lose my vision, I thought I would never be able to design again. I became very depressed before coming to the Miami Lighthouse. Here, I joined the SGA art program where I was handed a drawing tablet and a pencil. That was the turning point - when I realized that my talent never left me, even without sight. From then forward I never stopped believing in myself nor looking back.
The fact that I carry a white cane is really the only thing that makes me different from other people. I now feel very capable in all areas of life. Virginia Jacko, Richard Fernandez, Carol Brady-Simmons and Aaron Hill are the main people who make me feel like I have been touched by an angel, along with the entire Miami Lighthouse staff.
I want everyone to know that there IS always a light at the end of the tunnel.
Please make a gift to support me on White Cane Day by clicking the DONATE NOW button below. Your donation will help continue the many life affirming and transformational programs Miami Lighthouse offers.
Miami Lighthouse received the prestigious 2020 award for "Best in Nonprofit" campaign by PRWeek referred to as the "Oscars of the PR industry".
Miami Lighthouse ranks among the elite 1% of U.S. nonprofits having earned 12 consecutive 4-star ratings from Charity Navigator, the nation's premier independent nonprofit evaluator. Receiving such a distinction reflects our sound fiscal management, responsible use of donor dollars, and financial strength.
Miami Lighthouse has earned the Gold participation level through the GuideStar Exchange which is a testament to Miami Lighthouse's commitment to data transparency.
Early Intervention Blind Babies Program Named the Children's Trust 2016 Program of the Year. This most prestigious award recognizes this Early Intervention Program, in particular, for including parents as teachers.
Miami Lighthouse was recognized at the 2015 Florida Blue Foundation Sapphire Awards luncheon as an organization that has demonstrated excellence and innovation in community health.
Miami Lighthouse received the prestigious 2015 Beacon Award in Education at the 13th Annual Beacon Council Awards.
Miami Lighthouse is a two-time Charity Partner (2013 and 2014) of the Marlins Foundation and a 2017 Major League Baseball All-Star Game Legacy Partner. Our Florida Heiken Children's Vision Program has received over $300,000 in charitable donations through these partnerships.
Miami Lighthouse received the prestigious 2008 Concern Award from Health Foundation of South Florida.
Miami Lighthouse received a Silver medal at the 2016 Miami Today Gold Medal Awards Ceremony.
Miami Lighthouse named "Best of Miami" Charity 2017 by the New Times.
Miami Lighthouse received United Homecare's 2012 Thelma Gibson Community Service Award at the 18th Annual Claude Pepper Memorial Awards Ceremony.
Miami Lighthouse received the prestigious South Florida Business Journal 2011 Excellence in Health Care Award in the Community Outreach category.
Miami Lighthouse honored by being named the recipient of the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce 2010 Non-Profit Business Diamond Award.