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Bosma Enterprises Receives $750,000 Grant From United Way Of Central Indiana
Updated May 22, 2017 3:53 AM
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(INDIANAPOLIS) - With a $750,000 grant from United Way of Central Indiana, Bosma Enterprises is expected to increase its reach to help 50 percent more Hoosiers on a daily basis.

The nonprofit organization, whose mission is to create opportunities for individuals who are blind or visually impaired, will use the matching grant from United Way's Capital Projects Fund to underwrite a $1.5 million renovation to relocate and expand its rehabilitation center.

The Bosma Visionary Opportunities Foundation, the supporting foundation of Bosma Enterprises, has launched a fundraising effort to raise the additional $750,000 needed to complete the rehab center. The new facility, which is located at 7125 Woodland Drive, Indianapolis, will significantly reduce wait times for clients.

"Right now, there are so many people who need help from Bosma Enterprises that they're having to wait nearly six months for services. And let me tell you, when you're asking yourself 'What am I going to do now?', just waiting one hour can feel like an eternity," said Lou Moneymaker, CEO, Bosma Enterprises. "Renovating our Woodland Drive facility will allow us to help significantly more people help themselves a lot faster."

"We are thankful to United Way of Central Indiana for supporting our campaign to raise funds for this project, which is vital to the people we serve," said Arvetta Jideonwo, executive director, Bosma Visionary Opportunities Foundation. "Bosma provides services to its clients free-of-charge, therefore there is a critical need to raise philanthropic support for these high-quality programs."

Bosma serves nearly 1,000 clients annually. As part of the project, Bosma will renovate approximately 13,500 square feet of office space to increase capacity for its programs and reduce wait times to 1-2 months. The facility will include a new lighting lab to help clients identify the best lighting to maximize usable vision, a basic living skills training apartment to master skills such cooking and cleaning without sight, a manual skills training room, a wellness room, a socialization room and computer accessibility labs.


The Woodland Drive building also houses two of Bosma's lines of business, which includes an auto parts packaging operation for NAPA Balkamp, and SKILCRAFT® Ice Melt, which is sold to government and commercial customers throughout the country.

There are currently 165,000 Hoosiers living with vision loss. By 2030, the rate of blindness in the U.S. is estimated to double along with the country's aging population.

"Imagine finding out you or a loved one was losing your vision. Who would you turn to? Each year thousands of Hoosiers turn to Bosma Enterprises for guidance on how to navigate blindness," said Gary Woodworth, Director, Capital Funds of United Way of Central Indiana. "Organizations like Bosma are critical to ensuring people faced with losing their vision have a resource to help them remain independent, productive members of society. Because of Lilly Endowment Inc.'s generous gifts to our Capital Projects Fund, we can help our agencies better support the individuals they serve."

Individuals facing vision loss can receive services either on site through the Bosma Rehabilitation Center or in their homes through Community-Based Services. Individuals with a vocational goal can utilize Community Employment Services to work towards meaningful employment in their communities. Additionally, Bosma operates a Student Training and Employment Program (STEP) in partnership with the Indiana School for the Blind & Visually Impaired, specifically designed for Indiana high school students. Sixty percent of people enter higher education or competitive employment after completing a program at Bosma Enterprises.

The Woodland Drive facility renovation marks the second capital project Bosma will undertake this year in an effort to significantly expand its mission. On June 2, Bosma will celebrate the grand opening of a new facility at 6270 Corporate Drive on Indianapolis' northwest side which will brings several of its business units under one roof. That building will house all of Bosma's disposable medical products packaging and logistics operations--which supply exam and surgical gloves to Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals throughout the country--and will also double the organization's warehousing capacity.

More than half of Bosma's 200 employees are blind or visually impaired, making it the state's largest employer of this population. True to its goal of eradicating the more than 70 percent unemployment rate among people who are blind or visually impaired, Bosma operates several lines of business that employ people in a variety of positions such as call center operations, medical glove packaging, auto parts packaging, warehousing and the Bosma Bistro, which serves employees and guests.

About Bosma Enterprises


Bosma Enterprises is a nonprofit organization that's been helping Hoosiers who are blind or visually impaired for more than 100 years. Our experienced staff (more than half of whom are blind) offers personalized programs ranging from counseling, to job placement, to training for daily living skills--helping adults gain the life skills they need to remain independent, and the job skills they need to stay self-sufficient. To learn more about how you can help our mission, or how our mission can help you, visit Bosma.org.



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