The Pathway to Success Goes Through You

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Donations are the life blood of any non-profit organization and we are no exception. Your support is a vital component to our ability to create life-altering opportunities for the visually-impaired community. To make it easier for you, we developed a variety of ways to give!

VIA annual Appeal

Dear Friend,

They say you can’t build a house without a solid foundation. I know its cliché, but it’s true. VIA is in the business of building foundations.

When you’re blind, living in a world that so often feels like it’s not designed for you; you need a stronger foundation than most. I am able to thrive in life because of the services VIA has provided to me since I was a little girl in their early education program. I have been able to graduate from college, find an excellent job with the IRS, and foster meaningful relationships with people around me. VIA is building foundations for countless people, every single day. Not just children, but people of all ages. Their services help individuals experience so many “firsts in their lives”. Someone’s first time reading a braille book, first time using a computer optimized with adaptable software, their first job, and many more.

The support raised through VIA’s Annual Appeal helps make all this possible. With your support, VIA can continue to build foundations, and provide these life-changing experiences to thousands of individuals who are blind or visually impaired living in WNY. When you support VIA you are supporting future lawyers, bloggers, Ph.D.’s, entertainers, and business leaders who will go out and change the world.


Annie Brady – VIA Client & Ambassador

donate now to our annual appeal

your donation will:
Provide eye exams and vision rehabilitation services for those who can not afford them.

Fund activities which allow kids and teens who are visually impaired to participate in sports & recreation activities.

Help over 2,000 people who are blind and visually impaired in our community!

ways to help via

You can make a difference. Get your family, friends or co-workers together and make a difference in the life of someone who is blind or visually impaired.

Pick one of the ideas below – or be creative and have fun with your own idea…all ideas lead to giving back to your community in a huge way and helping people achieve their highest level of independence!

Fundraising Event Ideas:

  • Blindfolded Yard Game Party- Corn hole, ladder ball, balloon toss
  • Gift Gathering Party- Invite friends; entrance fee is a gift basket valued at $25-$50 ( items to be used for Dining in the Dark auctions)
  • Dining in the Dark Lunch- We provide a Vision Therapist to walk your guests through a meal blindfolded; Host is responsible for providing food & drink
  • Mock-tail Happy Hour (under 21 event)- Mock tails and food; entrance fee- a gift card or gift basket values at $25
  • Happy Hour For a Cause (21 + event)
  • Dress Down Day- give $1 to $5 to dress down at work
  • Exercise Event– Spin class, Yoga, Zumba, Kickboxing
  • Shop for a Cause- Pick a local store and partial proceeds can go to Olmsted Center for Sight
  • Bowling Party
  • 5K Run/ White Cane Walk Event
  • Facebook Fundraiser– create a fundraising page and have people donate for your Birthday!

Let Us Help You: 

Prior to your event or fundraiser please reach out to VIA if you need any of the following:

VIA Logo
Informational/Marketing Materials
Event Publicity
Guest Speaker
Staff and clients to attend your event and support your efforts

During the United Way Annual Campaign you may “Donor Designate” directly to VIA.

These funds are made through your paycheck from your place of employment and come directly to VIA to support our programming. 

Need some volunteer hours?
Looking for a way to give back and still have fun?


How Can You Help?

  • Join our Planning Committee
  • Help Get Donations for our auctions
  • Help During Event

Kirsten Dole


Look for: VIA -Visually Impaired Advancement

Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases to VIA!

AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know same products and same prices!

Support VIA by starting your shopping at

Vehicle Donation through V-DAC
Car, motorcycle or boat donation to Any Charity provides easy, turn-key vehicle donation to
support their favorite non-profits by donating a vehicle!
Go to the V-Dac website to find out how to donate your car to VIA.

gift gathering & dining in the dark


Your Invited beer cap graphic
Dining in the Dark Logo


With vision loss effecting over 27 million people in the United States VIA makes it our mission to help inform and educate the public about how people who are blind and visually impaired have the ability to live and work independently and successfully.

This blind simulation (commonly known as Lunch & Learn) experience helps educate and increase diversity awareness in the work place and also shows the capability of people with all different abilities by giving others an interactive glimpse into the life of someone who lives their life day to day without the use of their vision.


  • Increase awareness about diversity in the workforce

  • Increase awareness of the skills of people who are blind and visually impaired

  • Debrief discussion to allow participants to share thoughts

  • Great team-building experience

  • Encourages people to advocate, volunteer and give back to our community

The presentation and simulation takes approximately one hour.


You can have 15 to 60 participants
VIA Staff will facilitate the simulation.

Participants will be blindfolded and perform tasks:

  • Blindfolded Water Pour

  • JAWS Demo

  • Cane Travel

  • Eye Disease Simulation

There is an administration fee to cover the cost of the program.

1-15 people$100.00 
16-30 people$150.00 
31+ people* $250.00 

Contact us to set up your blind simulation for your company,organization or school!

Renee Diflavio


Wall of Reflection

The Wall of Reflection is a special gift campaign created by VIA to help fund our mission of assisting the blind, visually impaired and physically disables lead productive and independent lives.

These custom-designed and personalized metallic tiles will not only display your support of VIA it will become an integral part of the interior design of our lobby at our Main Street location. You can also have a tile created honor or memorialize a loved one.  

Your gift will be part of the vision that we all share together.

Each Tile is 6 inches by 6 inches and can be engraved with your personal message and or name.

wall of reflection wide view
Wall of reflection

contact us:

Renee DiFlavio:

Phone: (716) 888-4627