by Ron Milliman

The Braille Plus is the most flexible, accessible, and easy-to-use mobile manager available today. It coordinates multimedia collections, reads and edits e-mail and documents, plays and records voice and music, browses the web, reads digital talking books, tracks headlines and podcasts, manages contacts and calendar, takes notes, calculates, times events, and much more, all with a device small enough to fit into a purse or pocket. It offers an excellent non-visual way to communicate, inform, entertain, and manage life. The ergonomic tactile groupings of keys and stereo speakers maximize ease of use, and the multiple ways to type ensure your new mobile manager is ready for nearly any task.

And you could be the proud winner of a Braille Plus! How? Simply by participating in the MMS program's newest promotional campaign. The MMS Program Committee has kicked off the next phase of our program: the "Reaching Out" Campaign. We are now reaching out beyond our own membership for MMS program contributors, and we need your help. You can participate by signing up non-ACB members, people who would be happy to help the ACB by becoming contributors to the ACB's MMS program.

What is the MMS program? The Monthly Monetary Support (MMS) program is a way for you to help financially support the ACB and its affiliates by making a regular, monthly contribution from either your bank account or credit card. You control the amount of the contributions, when they begin and when they stop. You can designate up to 50 percent of each contribution to go to an affiliate of your choice.

Some of you have told us that you simply cannot afford to contribute to the MMS program because you do not even have enough money to cover all of your own expenses each month. We fully understand that, and now, you can still become a major participant in the ACB MMS program by sponsoring non-members that you know. We all have friends, relatives, people we go to church with, our doctors, neighbors, and others who would be very willing to contribute to the ACB MMS program if you asked them to do so. Think about it! If you sponsor just five people, and if each of them contributes just $10 per month, you, in essence, are helping ACB by $50 per month or $600 per year! If just 50 of our members do this, it adds up to a total contribution of $30,000 more per year for ACB.

Remember, the entire contribution can go to ACB national, or can be split between national and one affiliate of your choice. So, you can greatly help two levels of ACB at the same time, with very little effort on your part!

All you need to do to get started is request a small quantity of MMS brochures to give to your prospective contributors. That gives you an opportunity to tell your friends, relatives, and others about ACB and what it's doing to improve the lives of blind and low-vision people in the United States and around the world. There is a place on the MMS brochure for your name as the sponsor. Then, as our Minnesota office receives the requests for MMS forms, your name will be associated with that contributor as the sponsor.

You can win in three ways. The ACB member who brings in the most annualized dollars over $1,500 will win the Braille Plus, provided to the MMS program by the American Printing House for the Blind. To be eligible, all you need is 10 non-members who contribute an average of only $12.50 per month. Current member contributions average just under $23 per month. So, a contribution average of $12.50 a month is extremely feasible. Second, the ACB member who sponsors the most non-members will win a Victor Reader Stream, provided to the MMS program by HumanWare! Third, the ACB member who is a new MMS program participant or who increases his/her monthly contributions by at least $5 per month will be placed into another drawing and will be eligible to win a handheld Olympus Digital Recorder that is fully accessible!

All ACB members who are new contributors will also be sent a really nice little FM scanner radio. It comes complete with earbuds and batteries.

So, this is a win-win-win opportunity for everyone! Let's get started. You can request a quantity of MMS brochures by contacting our Washington office at (202) 467-5081 or 1-800-424-8666. You can also contact me at (270) 782-9325 or by e-mail, [email protected]. But please request only the number of MMS brochures that you think you will need.

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