A dozen blind teenagers from around the state are spending today through Wednesday in Des Moines learning the value of volunteer work. Tai Blas with the Iowa Department for the Blind says the “Dare to Care” summer camp will teach the teens about giving back to their community. “A lot of times, it may be the perception that blind people aren’t able to do things to help others or they may need to be helped rather than helping others,” Blas said. “So, we want these students to learn that they are able to help others and be of value in the community just as anyone else would do.”

The 12 teens come from all corners of the state. Blas says they could learn a few new skills this week while building their resumes. “It can also help them with networking…to be able to meet people who could maybe help them obtain high school jobs or (provide) information about the fields they’re interested in and parlay that into something later on,” Blas said.

The students will stay in dorms at the AIB College of Business. Their volunteer work will help feed the homeless. Blas says the teens will prepare and deliver casseroles to the Salvation Army. In addition, the teens will take part in a clean up of Jester Park at Saylorville Lake and help clean up a yard belonging to an elderly resident of Des Moines.