October 2022 Minute Message

Fellow Federationists: We are winding down Blind Equality Achievement Month, and we are demonstrating to the world that we can and will indeed live the lives we want. We secured proclamations from the State of Maryland and most of the counties for White Cane Awareness Day, and we attended half a dozen meetings in person to receive those proclamations. Our chapters and divisions were hard at work out in the community and engaging with the public for DEAM, including an amazing Wizarding Weekend on Main, the Baltimore Running Festival Water Station, the At Large Movie Night, and so many others. We held a robust membership fair in Baltimore and another in Montgomery County. We’ve attended conferences and town halls, and we’ve begun gearing up for our 2023 legislative advocacy efforts. And as October comes to a close, we speed towards our 56th annual NFB of Maryland Convention. Read on for information about our activities in Maryland. Reconnect, Reimagine, Reignite: The State Convention is Coming! You will not want to miss the state convention at the Sheraton Baltimore North Hotel in Towson which takes place on November 11 - 13, 2022. Come and meet our National Representative, Donald Porterfield. Though pre-registration has closed, individuals may still register online for the convention including purchasing meals. The cost for registration is $25, and the on-site prices are applicable to meals. Visit https://nfbmd.org/convention/registration to register and visit https://nfbmd.org/convention for key information such as the agenda, streaming link, and more. Seeking Door Prize Donations We are seeking donations of door prizes to give away at the NFB of Maryland Annual Convention. Door prizes should have a cash value of a minimum of $25 each. For questions, please contact Door Prize Co-chairs Qualik Ford at QSFord@outlook.com and Juhi Narula at juhin13@gmail.com. Please bring door prizes to the convention. Seeking Donations for the NFBMD Bake and Experience Auction! We are seeking donations of baked goods and experiences for the NFBMD auction. Some examples of experiences include taking the winner to dinner, giving cooking lessons, musical or show tickets, etc. We are asking for donation commitments prior to October 31, 2022. Please notify Convention Logistics Co-chair Justin Young of your donation via email at Jyoung@nfb.org. Seeking Baked Deliciousness for NFBMD Fire Sale! Attention all! This message is going out to all you bakers, non-bakers, and anyone else with baked goods. As state convention rolls around again, so does our annual fire sale. If you want to help feed our movement and fund the important work we do, please take the time to donate your freshly baked goods, whatever they may be. Cookies, cakes, candies and croissants, we'll take them all. Please contact Shawn Abraham with your donation commitment via email at shawna2@umbc.edu. 2022 Fall Donation Drive!! The National Federation of the Blind of Maryland is holding a Fall donation drive to support our work. From December 3 to 10, 2023, NFBMD will be hosting Blind Cruising 2023, which is a 7-night cruise on the Carnival Legend to the Eastern Caribbean. Individuals may book passage directly with our travel agent, with a portion of cabin costs going to NFBMD. Those interested may find information at http://www.nfbmd.org/blindcruising. Additionally, we will hold a cruise drawing at the NFBMD Convention Banquet on November 12, 2022. The winner will receive a balcony cabin for two on the Carnival Legend for the sailing scheduled to depart Baltimore from December 3 - 10, 2023, which is the sailing where Blind Cruising 2023 will take place. Individuals do not need to be present to win. The rules for the drawing are as follows: 1. For each $20 donated, the donor will receive one chance. For example, if the donor contributes $100, that equates to 5 chances. 2. The donor must expressly state that they wish to have their name placed in the cruise drawing. 3. Donations must be made separately from any door prize contributions, convention registration donations, or theater/Hamilton donations. 4. Donations must be received on or before November 5, 2022. Individuals may make donations using the PayPal button located at https://nfbmd.org/DonationDrive or by mailing checks to: National Federation of the Blind of Maryland 2022 Fall Donation Drive 1800 Johnson Street, Suite N1 Baltimore, MD 21230 Remember to Pay Your 2022 and/or 2023 Dues! NFBMD maintains an online portal for individuals to pay their chapter and division dues. We are asking members to pay their 2022 dues as soon as possible so we can ensure that our rolls are accurate for the annual national membership data call and so individuals can vote at our State convention. We are also asking individuals to pay their 2023 dues by December 31, 2022. Individuals may use NFBMD’s Dues Portal to pay their 2022 and/or 2023 annual dues, and/or lifetime membership dues for those chapters that have lifetime membership. The portal lists all NFBMD chapters and divisions and their dues amounts. Individuals may pay for as many chapters and divisions as they wish. The portal is located at http://nfbmd.org/dues. Alternatively, individuals may mail a check to their chapter or division treasurer. Reorganizing the Baltimore County Chapter Our Membership Committee, led by Dezman Jackson, held a Membership Fair in the Baltimore area. As a result, we are moving forward with reorganizing the Baltimore County Chapter, and it will cover the western part of Baltimore City, west and northwest Baltimore County, and the eastern part of Howard county. We will hold our official organizing meeting during the NFB of Maryland Annual Convention. Those interested in joining the chapter should feel free to come to the meeting. Those interested in potentially serving in leadership roles in the chapter should reach out to Dezman Jackson or Ronza Othman. Fun and Informative- and Prizes, oh my! The employment committee has been busily working up some convention activities for your enjoyment and education! We will be kicking off on Friday afternoon at the convention from 2 to 4 PM with a game show-style discussion about employment topics in our community which will include a panel discussion and of course prizes. You will not want to miss this. Our employment committee co-chairs Pam Goodman and Janice Forbes will also be facilitating a discussion at the Saturday afternoon general session with some blind people who are successfully employed in various professions. We look forward to seeing you in Towson Free COVID-19 Tests Update While the government program that has provided free standard COVID-19 tests was suspended on September 2, USPS is still distributing the free, more accessible COVID-19 at-home tests while supplies last. You can place an order online or by calling 1-800-232-0233. Additional information and updates are available at https://nfb.org/covidtests. Important Upcoming Dates • November 1, 2022 – Deadline to commit to contribute items for NFBMD Bake and Experience Auction • November 5, 2022 – Deadline to make donations for Fall Donation Drive to include drawing for free cruise • November 11 – 13, 2022 – NFBMD Annual Convention, Towson, Maryland • January 26, 2023 – NFBMD Day in Annapolis, Annapolis, Maryland • January 30, 2023 – Great Gathering In, Washington, DC • July 1 – 6, 2023 – NFB National Convention, Houston, Texas • December 3 – 10, 2023 – NFBMD Blind Cruising 2023, Bahamas