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Sight Loss Monthly December 2020

December 2020

The Hull Foundation’s

Picture says Peace on Earth with a few sprigs of holly in the background.Sight Loss Monthly News


“The publishing of this newsletter is a service of The Oral Hull Foundation for the Blind and is not an endorsement of any of its contents.   All products, items and other information may be used at the sole discretion of the reader.” 

Editors, Hull Foundation Staff

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Our Mission Statement:

The mission of the Oral Hull Foundation for the Blind is to provide programs, facilities and services including social, educational, and recreational activities for people who are blind and visually impaired.

“Keeping Hope & Dreams Alive!”

*If you would prefer to receive this newsletter by email, or to unsubscribe, please call the Hull Foundation at 503.668.6195 or send an email to:
Address: PO Box 157, Sandy, OR 97055
43233 SE Oral Hull Road, Sandy, OR 97055

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The Last Chapter of 2020

      We finally made it to the last month of 2020.  What a year!  Despite this being a highly unusual year, we have generated new friendships and traditions that bless our Foundation. Our efforts to persevere and make the best out of a tough situation has brought us closer together.  It has made us pause and take inventory of how we were doing things and how we could improve on many things.  It has pushed us to view things a bit differently.  

      As the year closes, we look forward to 2021 with even more hope and we are determined to keep our mission of providing services and education to you, our friends, in the forefront.  We are becoming the butterfly that Marja, one of our Sight Loss Instructors, reminds us of in every email she sends.  She always ends her emails with the quote, “Just when the caterpillar thought her life was over, she became a butterfly.”  You are the color and lift in our wings.  We are so grateful for you to be carrying us forward.

      That said, December is upon us, the season of holiday and cheer.  Many of us find ourselves being asked to remain in a tighter quarantine.  With these extra restraints, we thought you might need something interesting to help you get into the holiday spirit, or if you are not a “holiday” type of person, at least a bit of pick-me-up.  So, at 10:00 am on Wednesday, December 16th, during our final 2020 “Hull Foundation Presents…” Zoom meeting, we will be sharing stories of holiday traditions.  You are welcome to attend and share some stories of your own holiday heritage.

      We recognize that not everyone can attend online meetings, so here are some interesting and different holiday traditions for you to learn about.  Feel free to investigate them even further on your own time. (Hopefully, you have a little free time on your hands, wink.)  And, if you find something of interest that you want to share with the group, please call the office so you can learn how to join us on December 16th, virtually.

The holidays are a time of traditions! Around the world people celebrate in lots of unique ways. Here are some interesting Christian traditions from different cultures around the world…

  1. In Germany, Christmas Eve is the main day where gifts are exchanged with families.
  2. In Australia, the holidays fall within the summer months so children can spend their holiday break at the beach or camping.
  3. In Russia, some people fast on Christmas Eve, until the first star has appeared in the sky. Then many eat a porridge made from wheat or rice.
  4. For Italians, on Christmas Eve it’s common that no meat or dairy is eaten. Often a light seafood meal is served.
  5. In Switzerland, some people use real candles on the tree, which are traditionally lit on Christmas Eve and on New Year’s Eve for good luck.
  6. In India, some people use mango leaves to decorate their homes.

There are many religions in our world and many ways of acknowledging God. Christmas is not all that different across the religions who celebrate the holiday.  Here are a few ways different religions celebrate December:


The Hindus in India celebrate in December with a five-day holiday called Pancha Ganapati. The celebration begins on December 21 to celebrate the elephant-headed lord of culture and new beginnings. Some festivities the Hindus partake in are outings, picnics, gift giving, feasts, decorating their homes with pine boughs or durva grass, and putting up lights and ornaments. The major portion of the celebration is putting up a statue of Ganesha in the home and dressing the statue for each day of the celebration in colors of yellow, blue, red, green, and orange.


Christmas is a time of gift giving and practicing peace and goodwill toward mankind. Buddhists can practice their religion and see the similarities between Buddhism and Christianity. Buddhists celebrate the holidays by hanging up Christmas decorations in their temples, sending cards to loved ones, holding late night vigils, and occasionally listen to Christmas music.


The Jewish celebrate a holiday know as Chanukah (Hanukkah). Chanukah is an eight-day festival of lights that is celebrated by a nightly menorah lighting, special prayers, and foods (fried). Chanukah memorializes the small army of Jews that defeated the mighty Greek Army in the second century BCE. The Jewish reclaimed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and as a symbol of reclaiming the temple, the menorah was to be lit; however, only a single cruse of olive oil was left. Even with a little bit of olive oil, the menorah was still lit and stayed lit for eight days. To remember this wonder, Chanukah was created.

There are many more traditions, and we hope that you will be curious enough to want to find out more!  In the meantime, may your celebration of Christmas and holidays be peaceful and filled with the love that is the basis of all religions.

Warmest Wishes,

      The Staff at the Hull Foundation     

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The Power of the White Cane

We just finished a very powerful workshop on the importance of a white cane for independence and safety.  We had more than 30 people in attendance via our Zoom Workshop. If you are new to white cane usage and want to receive a FREE white cane, you can contact The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) – or you can purchase folding or telescoping canes via most vision aid catalogs.
The canes distributed through The NFB free white cane program are straight fiberglass canes (i.e., not folding or telescoping). All canes are white with a loop on top of the handle and come with a cane tip.

For adult first-time cane users, they recommend measuring from your shoulders to the floor. The cane needs to reach about two steps in front of where you are stepping. The speed of your pace and length of your stride will make a difference. More experienced cane travelers may wish to have a longer cane, measuring at least chin height.

For children, teens, and young adults who are first-time cane users, they recommend measuring from your chin to the floor. More experienced cane travelers may wish to have a longer cane, measuring at least nose height.  

For more information, please contact:  (NFB) at or 410-659-9314.
Keep in mind that instruction for using a white cane is important.  You can call the Hull Foundation office (503-668-6195) for more information. 

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Walk Across the United Kingdom

We are coming up on one thousand miles on our virtual walk-a-thon across the UK and Ireland!  This is a way for everyone to keep active, raise funds for the Hull Foundation, and have fun doing so!  We have about 2 dozen walkers from all around the country participating in this, our second virtual walk.  Each mile walked is a mile traveled in our virtual story.  Each story installment is emailed every day to every participant.  In the story, we have flown on dragon’s backs, ridden wales, been magically transported from one castle to another, and are learning about landmarks and the history of Scotland.  The group is headed toward England next and then on to Ireland. For more information on how you can join or sponsor a walker, call our office at 503-668-6195. 

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Tip of the Month: Prepare for an emergency

  • If you use a cane, keep extras in strategic, consistent, and secured locations at job, home, school, volunteer site, etc. to help you maneuver around obstacles and hazards.
  • Keep a spare cane in your emergency kit.
  • If you have some vision, place security lights in each room, to light paths of travel. These lights plug into electrical wall outlets and light up automatically if there is a loss of power. They will, depending on type, continue to operate automatically for 1 to 6 hours and can be turned off manually and used as a short-lasting flashlight.
  • Store high-powered flashlights with wide beams and extra batteries, (See Gadget of the Month).
  • Service animals may become confused, panicked, frightened, or disoriented in and after a disaster. Keep them confined or securely leashed or harnessed. A leash/harness is an important item for managing a nervous or upset animal. Be prepared to use alternative ways to negotiate your environment. Plan for losing the auditory or sensory clues you usually rely on after a major disaster.
  • If helpful, mark emergency supplies with large print, fluorescent tape, bump dots or Braille. 
  • Anchor special equipment such as computers. 
  • Create a back-up system for important data and store it off site.
  • Advocate that TV and radio news not only post important phone numbers but also announce them slowly and repeat them frequently for people who cannot read the screen. 
  • Have easy access to contact information for family and friends as a support network.

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Gadget of the Month: 

Emergency flashlights
    Look for flashlights with wide beams and ultra-
    brightness. Example: The Gear Light LED 
    Tactical Flashlight: Ultra Bright & Long
    Lasting. Easily light up an entire room or focus 
    in on objects up to 1000 feet away! 10 times 
    brighter than old incandescent lights. Powered
    for hours with 3 AAA batteries or a single
    rechargeable battery. Approximate cost: $20 
    for two flashlights at Amazon.

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Zoom Meetings

The Oral Hull Foundation hosts a variety of meetings via Zoom each month to stay informed and connected.  Some are educational based, some are discussions, and some are just for fun!  Here are our December Zoom events…

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Workshops: “Living with Sight Loss” 

  When:  December 1st, at 10:00am

  Topic:  Maintaining your Hobbies and Games

  Summary:  Maintaining your hobbies is imperative to keeping our minds active and happy!  We will discuss ideas and tips that are inspirational and ways to save money on supplies.  We will also discuss the benefits of journaling.   

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Hull Foundation Presents….

When:  December 2nd, at 1:00pm

Topic:  How to Reduce your Stuff

Summary:  We invited guest speaker Lisa Pelletier from Move Makers in Lake Oswego.  She will discuss ways to organize our things and give suggestions on how to decide which things could be given away. 

When:  December 16th, at 10:00am

Topic:  Christmas and other Holiday Traditions and What’s Next for Hull Park.

Summary:  The Holiday Season is upon us!  We will share the various ways people like to celebrate across cultures.  We will also give time for attendees to share their favorite traditions.  Then we will discuss what is coming up at Hull Park for 2021.  This is the meeting to wrap up our year and set us up for the next!  

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Reading in the Dark Book Club

When:  Thursdays, December 3rd and 17th at 10:00am.

For our December meetings we will be reading and discussing “The Shell Seekers” by Rosamunde Pilcher in two parts.  DB 26987.  

Summary:  An oil painting entitled “The Shell Seekers” is the unifying thread of this saga of a modern English family.  The narrative, a series of vignettes that shift back and forth in time, centers on the lives of the principal character in the family.  Join us for a fun hour of discussion and comradery!  We also talk about other book suggestions. Come prepared with ideas for our next books!

We love your feedback!

      If there is a workshop topic you would like to learn about, a discussion group topic that you’d like to share or a book you’d love to suggest, let us know! You can always drop us a line by emailing us at or by giving our office a call at 503-668-6195.  We would love to hear from you! 

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Jokes to Keep Us Laughing 

  1. What do you call an elf that can sing and   
          dance? Elfis.
  2. What do you call a broke Santa? Saint 
  3. Why don’t crabs celebrate 
          Christmas? Because they’re shell-fish.
  4. What does an elf study in school? The 
  5. A book never written: How to Decorate a 
    , by Orna Ment
  6. What do you call an elf wearing ear 
          muffs? Anything you want. He can’t hear 

-Peace, joy, health, and love to you all, now and for days to come!   The Hull Foundation Family

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