Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Lighthouse has just the reader that blind Pasco nun needed

Sister Helen Lange, 99, who has severe macular degeneration, said she is pleased and humbled by the donation. 

DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times

Sister Helen Lange, 99, who has severe macular degeneration, said she is pleased and humbled by the donation. 

With a little help from two community organizations, the prayer of a legally blind Pasco County nun has been answered.

Related News/Archive

On Thursday, the Pasco Times reported that Sister Helen Lange, a 99-year-old Benedictine nun who has severe macular degeneration, needed a new glass reader to magnify her books and papers onto a large television screen. The Dade City-Heritage Park Lions Club announced a fundraising campaign for a new $1,200 reader for Sister Lange, who lives at the Heritage Park Health and Rehabilitation Center in Dade City.

As luck would have it, the Lighthouse for the Visually Impaired and Blind had exactly what Sister Lange needed.

"When we read the story, we called Heritage Park immediately," said Sylvia Perez, executive director of the local Lighthouse division. "We knew we had to do something to help."

Sister Lange, who recently celebrated her 80th anniversary with the Benedictine Sisters of St. Leo, is far from retired: She spends her days visiting with fellow residents at Heritage Park, and she has been busy writing letters to raise money for a new residential hall for the Sisters of St. Leo at Holy Name Monastery.

Unfortunately, her 10-year-old glass reader has stopped working.

When the story appeared Thursday about the effort to get a new reader for Sister Lange, the offers poured in.

"It was so exciting to see that people were willing to help," said Mary Beth Lumbra, social services director at Heritage Park and president of the Dade City-Heritage Park Lions Club, who was flooded with emails and phone calls from people wanting to help.

One of those calls came from the Lighthouse for the Blind, which had received a fully functional video magnifier earlier in the week.

"We had loaned the reader to a gentleman with vision problems," Perez said. "When he passed away, his family returned the magnifier to us."

Lighthouse officials plan to deliver the magnifier to Sister Lange on Monday. They will set it up and show her how to use it, all at no cost.

Usually, people who want to receive free vision equipment from the Lighthouse for the Blind must undergo an assessment process, Perez said.

"In this case, though," she said, "we saw that the need was pressing."

Lumbra reports that other agencies, including ABC Action News, also came forward with offers to donate magnifiers to Sister Lange. She said that any donation checks sent in for the effort will be donated to the Lions Club Foundation for the Blind, Southeastern Guide Dogs and other vision-related charities the Lions support.

Sister Lange, for her part, said she is pleased and humbled by the donation.

"Oh, my God, people are so good," she said after hearing the news. "I could sit down and cry. I want to get down on my knees and pray for every one of them."

>>fast facts

To learn more

For information about the Lighthouse for the Visually Impaired and Blind, visit www.lvib.org.

Lighthouse has just the reader that blind Pasco nun needed 03/22/13 [Last modified: Friday, March 22, 2013 9:14pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Review: Kenny Loggins, Michael McDonald team up to cool down the Clearwater Jazz Holiday

    Blogs

    A cool breeze swept through Coachman Park Saturday night. Couple of them, actually.

    Kenny Loggins performed at the Clearwater Jazz Holiday on Oct. 21, 2017.
  2. No. 16 USF hangs on at Tulane, off to first 7-0 start

    College

    NEW ORLEANS — After half a season of mismatches, USF found itself in a grudge match Saturday night.

    USF quarterback Quinton Flowers (9) runs for a touchdown against Tulane during the first half of an NCAA college football game in New Orleans, La., Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Derick E. Hingle) LADH103
  3. Lightning buries Penguins (w/video)

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Ryan Callahan spent a lot of time last season rehabilitating his injured hip alongside Steven Stamkos, who was rehabbing a knee after season-ending surgery. During those hours, Callahan noticed two things about Stamkos: his hunger and his excitement to return this season.

    Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Slater Koekkoek (29) advances the puck through the neutral zone during the first period of Saturday???‚??„?s (10/21/17) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Pittsburgh Penguins at Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  4. Spain planning to strip Catalonia of its autonomy

    World

    BARCELONA, Spain — The escalating confrontation over Catalonia's independence drive took its most serious turn Saturday as Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of Spain announced he would remove the leadership of the restive region and initiate a process of direct rule by the central government in Madrid.

    Demonstrators in Barcelona protest the decision to take control of Catalonia to derail the independence movement.
  5. Funeral held for soldier at center of political war of words (w/video)

    Nation

    COOPER CITY — Mourners remembered not only a U.S. soldier whose combat death in Africa led to a political fight between President Donald Trump and a Florida congresswoman but his three comrades who died with him.

    The casket of Sgt. La David T. Johnson of Miami Gardens, who was killed in an ambush in Niger. is wheeled out after a viewing at the Christ The Rock Church, Friday, Oct. 20, 2017  in Cooper City, Fla. (Pedro Portal/Miami Herald via AP) FLMIH102