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The Checkered Eye Project

People wearing this symbol have partial blindness aka low vision.



Business/Non Profit/Charity

I’m trying not to use foul language here.  As I mentioned a while back I was considering registering the CEP for charity status.  This would allow me to apply for grants and issue receipts for donations with the goal in mind of paying someone who knows how to accomplish the CEP mission – awareness. 

However I changed my mind after a telephone consultation with one of Canada’s leading charity law experts who used lots of phrases like “and what have you” and “so on and so forth” and I pictured as looking like Henry Kissinger.

Mr. Kissinger made it quite clear that there were lots of potential dangers, pitfalls, and onerous procedures involved in operating a charity.  He waited till near the end of the conversation to hit me with the final blow of how much it would cost to engage him or anyone in his company to do the paperwork, and the deposit required exceeded the annual earnings of the CEP on even the best years in its existence.  He did mention that I could do all this without a lawyer.  However, after starting down that path and discovering that even with my superior intelligence, I couldn’t wing it through the documents, and after speaking to two lawyers and an accountant, I was ultimately passed along to someone who “knows that kind of stuff”.

Now it wasn’t immediately after my telephone meeting with Mr. Badnews and his perky assistant that I decided to say (not gonna swear) never mind the charity registration.  You see Mr. Badnews Kissinger had referred me to go online and search “charity tax tools”.  This would lead me to a resource that would explain some different approaches to registering as a charity. 

The page was not all that hard to find and I did manage to read about the three suggested alternatives: partnering with an existing charity, operating as a non-profit, and operating as a business, the latter of which is what the CEP already does.

The first suggestion is actually something the CEP already does as well, we partner with the Port Elgin Rotary Club and Charitable Trust each year when submitting the paperwork that qualifies our public service announcements for free television airtime. This partnering idea brings me back to the thought that it would be such a great idea to just be a part of the Canadian National Institute for the Blind since it seems that we hope to benefit the same group of people.  Alas, they have strenuously and on many occasions declined the partnership idea.

I’d like to note here that there are quite a few individuals within CNIB who see the merits of the checkered eye and make clients aware of it as an option for self-identification, but the CNIB as a whole does not support the CEP.  “As a whole” is not foul language.

So it appears that I’ll continue learning as I go, working with the terrific associates I’ve connected with, and doing what I can for people who, like myself, have low vision.

Comments: 3 Comments



  • Comment by Ray on Jan 29, 2014

    Red tape and inertia; two of the banes of first world nations. Like Obama, you have to use the power you have to do the best you can, despite the "opposition".

  • Comment by Steph McCoy on Jan 29, 2014

    You managed quite well without swearing. What an upside down world we live in when in attempting to something good for a segment of the population that would benefit we're hit with such amazing obstacles. It's almost no wonder that vision loss is still viewed so negatively when it doesn't have to be. In the King James version of the Bible the word charity is used instead of love. In view of this I would ask where is the love for creating a charity? Doesn't make much sense.

  • Comment by Rosalind on Feb 7, 2014

    Hi Libby,

    I fully agree with the two previous comments. I really like the comparison with Obama - people like you and him, who try so hard to advance, to make improvements, to make life easier for those who are fighting to go on, are constantly being held back by others who are suspicious of any kind of change. Unfortunately, a lot of these people seem to work in the organisations which are supposed to be helping their members. And without the support of these organisations, it is hard to get anywhere. We have the same problem over here, it seems to be international.

    Good luck with all that you are trying to achieve.

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