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August 9, 2022   •   News  

SAFE Grants $20,000 for New Counseling Program for Society for the Blind Recipients

Folsom, Calif. – Aug. 9, 2022 –SAFE Credit Union is awarding $20,000 to help provide new counseling services benefitting those receiving support from Sacramento’s Society for the Blind.

With the funding, Sacramento-based HOPE Counseling Center will give free mental health services to area residents with limited or no sight through a partnership with Sacramento’s Society for the Blind – services Society for the Blind has not been able to provide before now.

“This is a new offering, and we are truly grateful to HOPE Counseling and to SAFE Credit Union for supporting this important work for people living with low vision and blindness,” says Society for the Blind Executive Director Shari Roeseler.

The grant is expected to pay for hundreds of counseling sessions.

Hope CounselingHOPE Counseling Center offers sessions at their offices in Folsom, Roseville and Midtown in Sacramento.

“Many clients experiencing a range of sight challenges deal with depression and anxiety on a daily basis and have nobody to help process their feelings,” says Darlene Davis, HOPE’s founder and chief executive officer. “They feel isolated, shut off from the sighted world and live with anxiety. In therapy we can help them deal with anxiety and depression with evidence-based tools or trauma informed therapies."

SAFE Community Impact Manager Amanda Merz says the SAFE Credit Union committee that determines grant recipients was impressed by the counseling center’s desire to work with Society for the Blind to offer this much-needed resource.

“What an incredible effort by the HOPE Counseling Center to reach out and fill the needs identified by Society for the Blind,” Merz says. “We applaud them for wanting to provide such direct support.”

Many who will benefit from the free therapy include those with very limited resources and income, Roeseler explains. “By offering free therapy, we can help support, guide, and find resources to meet those challenges, including housing and disability inequities, that can often accompany those with a loss of sight,” she says.

Shari Roeseler photoSociety for the Blind Executive Director Shari Roeseler

Roeseler says losing one’s vision is “frightening and it requires relearning how to do basic activities of daily living using non-visual skills.”

Darlene Davis photoHOPE Counseling Center founder and Executive Director Darlene Davis

Davis adds, “When clients have the kind of professional support that HOPE provides, they will be able to move towards acceptance of their vision loss and embrace the new skills and discover a new way of living their lives to the fullest.”

The grant is expected to provide weekly therapy to at least 20 clients ranging from six to 13 weeks, totaling up to about 267 sessions in all. 

HOPE: Healthy Outcomes for Personal Enrichment Counseling Center, offers low-cost services in English, Spanish and multiple languages, including sign language, at its offices in Folsom, Roseville and Midtown Sacramento.

The Sacramento region’s Society for the Blind, established in 1954, provides blindness skills education, training, and supportive services for people who are blind or have low vision.

group counseling walk Society for the Blind staff member leads a group of clients on walking exercise through downtown.

The grant is one of two the credit union awarded for the second quarter of 2022 to organizations dedicated to promoting the health of residents in the greater Sacramento region. This month, SAFE is also awarding $10,000 to Stanford Sierra Youth & Families.

SAFE annually awards $120,000 in grants in four phases focusing on its three pillars of philanthropy: veterans, healthcare, and education. For more information on SAFE Credit Union’s grants program, go to

About SAFE

SAFE Credit Union has made members an integral part of its vision since 1940. Over the years the credit union has kept the focus on what really matters, putting members first, a formula that has seen SAFE grow into a leading financial institution in Northern California with $4.5 billion in assets and about 242,000 members. SAFE crafts every cutting-edge product and sterling service with members’ needs foremost in mind. In addition to banking services conveniently available through online, chat, mobile, or phone options, SAFE offers in-person services for members and small businesses at service centers across the Greater Sacramento region. SAFE is a not-for-profit, state-chartered credit union with membership open to businesses and individuals living or working in Sacramento, Placer, Yolo, El Dorado, Sutter, Butte, Nevada, Solano, San Joaquin, Contra Costa, Yuba, Amador, and Alameda counties. Insured by NCUA.

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