Help visually impaired kids create vivid memories

Hamilton Insurance Agency and the Visual Bucket List Foundation are working together to provide once-in-a-lifetime experiences for visually impaired kids to create lasting visual memories. To vote for them, use the social media buttons to share this story, or leave a comment below. If they reach 500 votes, the $5,000 donation they’ve already earned doubles to $10,000!

Seeing the world before it goes dark

Lizzy Myers was just five years old when she was diagnosed with Usher syndrome, a rare genetic disease that causes progressive hearing and vision loss. Her parents, Christine and Steve Myers, learned she could become blind by her teenage years.

They decided to create a “visual bucket list” — a list of things they wanted her to see and experience before her vision diminishes, ranging from simple pleasures, like catching fireflies in their Ohio backyard, to grand adventures, like sight-seeing in Europe. After Lizzy’s story was picked up by news outlets worldwide, well-wishers from around the globe pitched in to fund an all-expenses-paid trip for Lizzy’s family to travel to Rome.

 

“We wanted other kids in the same circumstances as Lizzy to have a once-in-a-lifetime visual experience before their world goes dark.”

— Steve Myers, co-founder of the VBLF

 

“We were so grateful for the outpouring of generosity from strangers,” said Steve. “We wanted other kids in the same circumstances as Lizzy to have a once-in-a-lifetime visual experience before their world goes dark.” As a way to give back, he and Christine formed the VBLF, which gives visually impaired youth unique experiences based on their own personal visual bucket list and capabilities.

 

Looking after their community

Lizzy’s family has been serving the insurance needs of their community for three generations. Christine is CFO at Hamilton Insurance Group, Inc. and Lizzy’s grandpa, Neil Hamilton, owns the agency. Two of Lizzy’s uncles — Brian and Michael Hamilton —work at the agency, too.

With a personal connection to the foundation’s mission, Hamilton Insurance Group has supported the VBLF from the start, providing office space, financial backing and a prominent sign outside the agency. The agency’s support has enabled the foundation to increase its visibility and effectiveness within the community.

 

Help visually impaired kids create vivid memories 7

Neil serves on the foundation’s board, providing professional knowledge. Brian and Michael volunteer at the organization’s major fundraisers and even pitch in to help make grant recipients’ wishes come true. A number of other agency staff members volunteer their time to the VBLF as well.

Help visually impaired kids create vivid memories 4

Lighting up a child’s eyes

The foundation has sent kids on a dinosaur dig in South Dakota, to meet the Navy’s Blue Angels in Florida and on a VIP trip to Disney World. More recently, they’ve also made dreams come true closer to home.

In 2020 the foundation heard about a local girl, Morgan Cook, who was undergoing many surgeries to save what little vision she had. Traveling was not a safe option for her because of her surgeries, so her parents devised a plan with the foundation to build Morgan her very own “She Shed” — a space of her own, outfitted for her interest and impairments.

Help visually impaired kids create vivid memories 5
Hamilton Insurance staff helped build and install the She Shed. After the big reveal to Morgan, Steve and Christine Myers, co-founders of VBLF enjoyed its glow.

On the day Morgan saw her shed for the first time, she was all grins. The small acts of kindness and generosity of others added up to make a big difference in the 13-year-old’s life. “There’s nothing more rewarding than seeing pure joy and excitement in a child’s face,” says Christine.

 

“There’s nothing more rewarding than seeing pure joy and excitement in a child’s face.”

– Christine Myers, CFO at Hamilton Insurance Group, Inc. and VBLF co-founder

 

Spreading more joy

As a small organization, the VBLF currently has the means to provide a personalized experience to only one child every other year. A Make More Happen Award would enable them to help another visually impaired child create a lasting, vivid memory this year.

Help Hamilton Insurance Group win $5,000 for The Visual Bucket List Foundation by cheering them on with a comment below and sharing their story to social media using the buttons to the left!

If your agency volunteers with a 501(c)3 nonprofit, learn how you can win a Make More Happen Award here.

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Diane Hatfield
20 hours ago

Way to go Hamilton. keep up the great work for a great cause.

Dorothy Johnson
23 hours ago

Let’s make this happen for this organization!

Tami Cull
1 day ago

VOTE

Tami Cull
1 day ago

such a great organization

Tami Cull
1 day ago

Vote for this cause!

Sheila Finnerty
1 day ago

Visual experiences to last a life time !

Emily Jorgensen
1 day ago

Amazing work. You are so close to your goal!

Scott Young
1 day ago

So important to give these young people the opportunity to experience these adventures while they can fully engage in them!

John
1 day ago

Great cause!

Jodi
1 day ago

Amazing – keep up the great work!

Emily Amweg
1 day ago

What a great cause!

Claudia Bush
2 days ago

Hoping you reach your goal for this amazing cause!

Ryan
2 days ago

Almost there lets keep up the votes!

Tami Cull
2 days ago

This is such a great organization! VOTE

Abigail Kaufman
2 days ago

The best cause ever!

Tiffany Smith
2 days ago

Great cause!

Patty
2 days ago

This is a great organization and needs more awareness in the community

Kerry
2 days ago

What an inspiring story!

Constance Caugherty
2 days ago

Worthwhile and rewatding

Jess
2 days ago

And equally amazing people!

Jess
2 days ago

Such an awesome organization!

Christine
2 days ago

Just a little farther to go!

Jennifer Spires
2 days ago

What a wonderful organization!

Melissa
2 days ago

Way to go!

Emily
2 days ago

Wow! So incredible. Great job!

Sarah Rende
2 days ago

Amazing mission!

Jennifer Wagner
2 days ago

We are so grateful for ALL you do!

J P
2 days ago

Keep up the great work VBLF! ❤️

Jessica Gribben
2 days ago

Great organization, happy to support them!

Jodie Perry
2 days ago

They do great work in our community! So inspirational!

Matt Baker
2 days ago

Amazing people doing incredible work! This is an excellent foundation please support them!

Carol Hamilton
2 days ago

.You do such great work.hope you win

Carol Hamilton
2 days ago

Great organization. Help them win!

Sarah Ludwig
3 days ago

Awesome program!

Tarah Guisinger
3 days ago

This is such a great cause!

Buzz
3 days ago

This is a wonderful cause !!!

steve
3 days ago

Great job! and good luck in reaching your goal

Tiffany Foss
3 days ago

Great Job! You guys go above and beyond to provide excellent service! Thank you!!

Michael
3 days ago

Keep up the great work!

Diana l. Butts
3 days ago

What a great thing!! Good luck

Stan Butts
3 days ago

Absolutely wonderful!

Matt Richlovsky
3 days ago

Good luck to the Visual Bucket List Foundation!

Danny
3 days ago

Great cause!

Last edited 3 days ago by Danny
Danny
3 days ago

Way to go!

Rachel Vela
3 days ago

What a beautiful and unique cause. They have my vote!

Christine
3 days ago

We are halfway there! Let’s keep it up. 9 days to go.

Jon
3 days ago

Great Cause!

Melanie
3 days ago

The Visual Bucket List is a great organization that provides experiences to children who otherwise may never get to do it or have it. They are well worth supporting!!

Jon
3 days ago

Go Team VBLF!

Paul Lintern
3 days ago

How very great. Congrats — what a team!

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