Tracy’s Story

Tracy was met with a life-altering complication following the C-Section of her twins in 2004. She developed Central Bilateral Artery Occlusion, which produced blood clots behind her eyes, damaging both of her retinas. The change was sudden and traumatizing, and in an instant, something as simple as getting out of bed and walking down the hallway became a major obstacle. Tracy has a BA in education, she connected with Lions Services in 2016, and discovered that “There is still life after blindness.”

With the help of Lions Services, Tracy has been able to achieve her ultimate goal of providing for her family and becoming more independent. Not only has she found independence as a product assembler, but she’s also been able to join social clubs and find a community of people that help her enjoy life, even after work. Tracy’s advice? “Don’t give up. Keep going. It will get better.”

Gladys’ Story

Gladys has confronted the challenges of glaucoma and retinal detachment since her teenage years. While these conditions have limited her vision, they have not hindered her spirit. One of her daily hurdles is maintaining independence, but she remains determined to navigate life on her terms. Introduced to Lions Services by her cousin in 2004, Gladys initially had reservations about her job- sewing. When she began, Lions Services not only encouraged her through her mistakes, but they were patient and assuring, fostering Gladys’ love of sewing.

Lions Services has been instrumental in Gladys’ life, offering her a sense of belonging and family. She appreciates the diverse and compassionate community it provides, emphasizing that it encourages everyone to learn and grow together, regardless of their backgrounds or languages. Gladys views Lions Services as a safe haven for those with vision impairments, where they can learn, feel understood, and find support.

Gladys’ advice? “This is a new chapter in your life. Express how you really feel and don’t hold it in.”

Philip’s Story


Philip, now CEO of Lions Services, did not expect to be where he is today. Born with Optic Nerve Hypoplasia, his eyes could not communicate with his brain, leaving him with a vision impairment so profound that his mom had to leave her job to ensure Philip would not remove his glasses. However, early intervention surgery helped stabilize his eyes, allowing his vision to improve over time. At the age of 16, his vision stopped improving, leaving him legally blind. As a high schooler with no support system, Philip felt isolated and embarrassed. He did not have a place where he could confide with others about the challenges he faced in everyday life, and this continued into college, where he attended Belmont Abbey as the first legally blind student. In his final year of college, he attended 208 interviews, all of which presented challenges or became unavailable once his condition was revealed. It wasn’t until he found Lions Services that, with a little persuasion, Philip landed his first job, changing the course of his life. Starting work “as the administrative assistant” on September 11, 2001, Philip quickly moved up in the company and decided to pursue an MBA, proving his value to a place that gave him a chance.

Taking time to learn every inch of the organization, Philip finally achieved his dream of becoming CEO on June 21, 2021. Philip’s unique perspective on his condition has helped him grow and create a place that brings fulfillment and joy back into people’s lives. Philip believes that the power you give your disability is the power it will have over you. “You have to accept it and start truly living with it [because] blindness is just a label.” As CEO, Philip has helped create a place where blind people can not only maintain their independence through work but also have a community of people to guide and support them along the way. He’s created a safe-haven, giving others what he needed as a young adult, a place where no blind person feels alone. Our agency employs more than 100 blind people and is committed to finding new ways to reduce the 70% unemployment rate suffered by the blind community.

of working age adults who are blind or visually impaired are legally blind.
of workforce is blind or visually impaired.

89 Years of Impact

John’s Story

John Purser’s 2 years of employment at Lions Services improved his quality of life after suffering from an optic nerve injury. He now supports himself by helping Lions Services package military hardware for chinstraps.  Blindness settled in after John’s accident from slipping on icy concrete and hitting his skull on the ground.

At first, John thought the injury was minor until recognizing faces became impossible. John’s family had concerns about whether he could take care of himself or not, but John refused the idea of permanently living in a nursing home due to blindness. He was later referred to Lions Services Inc, helping him overcome the drastic change in his life.

Lions Services offered John Purser employment and gave him mobility and job training, turning his life around for the better.

“Lions Services is a judgement-free place and I work around people who are in the same boat.”

Wilfred’s Story


Wilfred was born with an astigmatism, creating unique challenges in life. Wilfred finds it challenging at times when his eyes adjust to light, making something as simple as walking outside a disorienting and difficult task. However, when Wilfred found Lions Services in 2017 through his local library, he never anticipated the impact they would have on his life. “Lions Services has helped me become more comfortable with my vision impairment. I’ve never worked with other visually impaired individuals before. Working here really stimulates my brain, and it’s good to be around smart people.” Lions Services has provided a community that feels like home and given him the opportunity to reach his ultimate goal of retiring so he can spend time with his grandbaby. Wilfred’s advice? “Put in an application. It will change your life.”

Impact Quotes

I had never kept a job for more than 3 years. Now I’ve been here 15 years, and I love to come to work!


Did you know that being visually impaired does not equal being unable to drive? CEO Philip Murph explained that in NC, there is a waiver that allows qualifying visually impaired people to drive in daylight, on secondary roads, and under 45 mph.

We employ people that are blind and give them opportunities, and they’re giving back to the society through the taxes they pay, the items they purchase, and the items they make for the military. We are giving back to a community who has turned their backs on us every day.

Philip Murph

Becoming blind forces, you to do things from memory rather than sight. For Marlon, he hangs outfits together and keeps his drawers and cabinets organized so that he knows where everything stays, helping him accomplish his daily tasks independently.

Working at Lions means being blind isn’t the primary topic of conversation. Because everyone is in a similar situation, Marlon explains that “it’s like going to work with a bunch of normal people. We talk about everything, but no one really focuses on the blind aspect.”

Losing your sight and being born blind can feel very different. Although both share the same challenges of being blind, one understands the gravity of what they’ve lost, which is often devastating. It takes time for those who lost their vision to adjust to their new life because they’re having to relearn something they’ve already known.