Picture of Brandy with text "Brandy's Story" and Be My Eyes Logo
Community story, Meet Brandy, the 500,000th sign up in the Be My Eyes app!

Meet Brandy, the 500,000th sign up in the Be My Eyes app!

Brandy, North Carolina, blind

At the end of May we celebrated an incredible milestone: 500,000 people who are blind or have low vision have signed up to the Be My Eyes app to receive real time video assistance from over 6.7 million volunteers worldwide. To celebrate, we have reached out to a really special person: Brandy is our official 500,000th sign up in the app. She agreed to tell us a bit more about her story and how she is using Be My Eyes in her everyday life.

Brandy comes from North Carolina and  she got her name from the popular song from Looking Glass, Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl). She is a lead admin and volunteer for Hot Mess Express, a non profit through which they go to single parents’ homes and assist them with everyday tasks, like taking care of laundry or cleaning dirty dishes: “We go there and we become their village for a day! Being able to help people drives me to be a good person! I know that life can be really hard, that’s why we need to step in and help each other!”

Brandy is recently learning to live with low vision. She has had low vision since birth, but she only discovered this earlier this year. Using her words: “I did not know that I am blind until this past December. You think you don’t know that you have a condition until you know. You just don’t know what you don’t know until you know it!”. In the past few months, she has discovered a lot of accessibility tools that are helping her living life on “medium mode, instead of hard mode”, using her words. She discovered Be My Eyes through a Facebook group and she immediately made her first call to bake cupcakes: “I was making cupcakes and I couldn’t see the expiration date of the frosting I was using. So I was like, this is a good time to try this out! They turned out amazing!”

Quickly learning how to be efficient with her low vision wasn’t always easy for Brandy: “It’s been really awkward and hard, I would be lying if I said that this has all been peachy and amazing! But learning of all these accessibility tools has been amazing, also for my mental health!”. Brandy has struggled a lot feeling like a burden and with all of these changes happening in her life, she has been looking for new ways to get her independence back: “Using something like Be My Eyes I was able to make some cupcakes to share with some friends, without feeling like I am burdening a family member or a friend. This makes me feel a sense of independence, the volunteer on the other line did not make me feel like a burden.”

Brandy is now using Be My Eyes for all those small everyday tasks where she doesn’t want to “burden” her friends or family. Through Be My Eyes, she can always find someone available to assist, and more often than not our volunteers have been waiting patiently to be able to answer a call. But making a Be My Eyes call is not only a way to get assistance: “Even that temporary connection with another human being makes me feel better. There are tools like Be My Eyes that can help me, so why not use them and be more successful?”

If you know someone who is blind or has low vision and hasn’t yet begun using Be My eyes, feel free to send them this story to get them started!