Gerald Jackson began his service with CABVI as a One on One volunteer in August 2010. He had a great aunt who was blind and took special notice of CABVI when he was driving by one day. Gerald has been a professional cook for the last 30 years and currently works with Premier Foods. His passion is cooking and preparing food so it made perfect sense for CABVI’s volunteer coordinator to match him with a client needing grocery shopping assistance.
Gerald assists Kitty Hevener, who worked at CABVI in the 1980’s as a vision rehabilitation teacher, providing instruction in daily living skills. Since then she has been around the country in several different professional positions and returned to Cincinnati in recent years. As Kitty has been blind since birth, she is well adapted to vision loss. Kitty used to do her shopping with the help of a courtesy shopper at the store and using public transportation. Over time, this became too difficult both physically and logistically, since the grocery store is not located conveniently close to her.
As Kitty describes her relationship to Gerald, she expresses these sentiments, “Gerald quickly picked up on the social issues that people with vision loss deal with every day and supported me in handling them. When CABVI matched us, his primary responsibility was to help me with weekly grocery shopping. He has done that and much more. After picking me up from medical appointments, which are not always in my neighborhood, we go out to dinner and then off to grocery shopping. Once we’re home, Gerald helps me put groceries away, and checks any food I ask him to, for spoilage and/or expiration. Gerald has been incredibly reliable and flexible.” Gerald says that he is happy to help others as a volunteer and to do what he can to give back. He says that he enjoys pointing out new items at the store, reading nutritional information, and checking ingredients for Kitty.