Some People You Should Know: Advocates For The Blind

ORLAND PARK, Ill. (CBS) Joe and Kim Kuster are providing needed help to visually impaired people in the south suburbs. 

What’s also remarkable is that they are visually impaired themselves. 

CBS 2’s Harry Porterfield says they are each Someone You Should Know.

The world is either dark or difficult to see for people who come to an Orland Park church each Thursday for meeting of the Oasis for the Visually Impaired. 

“We try to help them with information and referral,” Joe Kuster says. “We do independent living skills, training.”

Starting with just four members, the Kusters organized the program nearly 20 years ago. Joe is totally blind; Kim is visually impaired.

“We walk by faith and not by sight. We feel that our sight may be impaired but our lives do not have to be,” Kim Kuster says.

The Kusters run the program as volunteers without compensation. Donations from such organizations as the Lions Club and others help to underwrite the expense. Members say Oasis has made a difference for them.

“I’ve learned so much at Oasis, learning about the blind and how to get around the neighborhood and how to use a cane,” Daniel Davis says.

Members come from as far away as Oak Lawn, Matteson and Blue Island just to be a part of the group. A number have glaucoma and macular degeneration.

Besides the state of Illinois, Oasis is the only organization in the south suburbs providing services to blind and legally blind people.  

For the Kusters, Oasis has become a mission.

“The things they have to offer us, it gives you hope,” says program participant Bill Bronsema.

For more information on Oasis, click here.

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