NOTTINGHAM, MD—The Maryland School for the Blind announced on Friday that it has received a $20,000 gift from the Jana Goshen-McGeachy fund that will be used to support MSB’s Families In Need fund. The fund assists students and families who are experiencing financial difficulties and struggling with access to basic needs as a result of the COVID19 pandemic.
The Jana Goshen-McGeachy memorial fund was established in 2005 by William McGeachy, an Orientation and Mobility instructor at MSB, to honor the memory of his late wife, Jana Goshen-McGeachy, a residential specialist, who worked at the school from 1977 until her untimely death in 2005.
Goshen-McGeachy held many positions in MSB’s residential program over her 28-year career, including child care worker, houseparent, and eventually supervisor of the school’s on-campus apartment program, residential night care staff and the Skills for Independence summer camp. A champion of the importance of residential programs in the education of students with disabilities, she was responsible for creating and executing structured daily living programs and taking students off campus for educational purposes, rather than just for leisure. She advocated for families to be actively involved in student programs and invited them to campus to participate in cooking, shopping, and other important life-skills experiences.
The Jana Goshen-McGeachy endowed fund has been used to support special student projects at MSB, at the discretion of McGeachy, over the past 15 years. Thanks to the generous support of the $20,000 gift, MSB will be able to provide emergency delivery of basic personal care items and non-perishable food for students and their families for several months.
According to McGeachy, “Jana’s life was spent in service to others. A life spent in service to others is a wonderful thing that never dies. The rewards of such an endeavor live on in the lives of the others that we touch. The fund was set up to be used in the service of others as Jana would do if still physically here. Everything for Jana came from the heart and now at a time when so many hearts are breaking this would be the time to use the funds to nurture those hearts in need.”
Founded in 1853, the Maryland School for the Blind is a private, statewide resource center providing outreach, educational and residential programs to children from infancy to age 21 who are blind or visually impaired including those with multiple disabilities. Annually, the school serves approximately 1,200 students identified in Maryland who are blind or visually impaired from all 24 jurisdictions through its on-campus and outreach programs.