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Child standing with his white cane in front of him.

**LOUISVILLE, KY** —Visually Impaired Preschool Services (VIPS) has been awarded a $75,000 grant from the Legacy Foundation of Kentuckiana to support early intervention services for infants and toddlers who are blind or have low vision and their families residing in the Legacy Foundation of Kentuckiana region. This area includes Jefferson, Shelby, Bullitt, Nelson, and Hardin Counties in Kentucky, and Clark County in Indiana. This is the first time VIPS has received funding from the Legacy Foundation of Kentuckiana.

“The services provided by VIPS are so important to families seeking guidance and support for their visually impaired infants and young children,” says Anne E. Monell, Executive Director of the Legacy Foundation of Kentuckiana. “We were impressed by the commitment and care not only for the child, but for the entire family. And as the only service provider of this type in Kentucky, VIPS is truly filling a unique need.”

VIPS has deep roots in the Kentuckiana area, as the organization was founded in 1985 in Louisville, Kentucky. It began serving young children who are blind or have low vision through vision-specific early intervention home visits by teachers with extensive knowledge in both early childhood education and blindness. Since the inception of the nonprofit, additional support programs have been created for families seeking answers for their children. The nonprofit also opened a Kids Town Preschool in Louisville, with an additional office location in Lexington and a Family Resource Center in Indianapolis, Indiana. VIPS is expected to serve over 750 children and families this year.

Diane Nelson, Executive Director of VIPS, says that because of this grant families will have someone to walk alongside them when they are told their young baby or toddler is blind or has low vision and that is often a very difficult time in their lives. “We are so grateful for the very generous $75,000 investment in the future of hundreds of VIPS’ youngest children who are blind or have low vision in Kentuckiana,” said Nelson, “This gift will change lives!”

About the Legacy Foundation of Kentuckiana

Legacy Foundation of Kentuckiana cultivates healthy communities for all, especially those who are vulnerable, through impact-driven philanthropy. The foundation supports programs and services in six counties: Jefferson, Shelby, Bullitt, Nelson, and Hardin in Kentucky, and Clark in Indiana.

The Legacy Foundation of Kentuckiana (LFK) was formed in 2019 after KentuckyOne Health, which was part of Catholic Health Initiatives, divested its healthcare facilities to the University of Louisville. It originated as the former Jewish Hospital Foundation, and then evolved into the former Jewish Hospital and St. Mary’s Foundation (JHSMF). As part of the divestiture, the assets of JHSMF remained with CHI, a part of CommonSpirit Health, for use by a newly created nonprofit community grant making organization known as the Legacy Foundation of Kentuckiana.

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