Mountain Home Magazine Article

Nov 30, 2020 02:16PM ● By Linda Roller


The building on 2121 Reach Road in Williamsport looks like many of the other manufacturing plants located there. Even the lobby, with the sign-in log, the waiting chairs—all standard issue. But walk through the doors of the plant, and there is a difference, and an organization that has made a difference for decades for people with sight problems.

“People remember us for services we did twenty to thirty years ago—rubber mats and brooms, reading to the blind. Now we’re getting known for shredding services,” Katie Coffey, quality and marketing director of North Central Sight Services comments as we wandered through the 68,000 square-foot-shredding, packaging, and distribution center. It’s a long way from the four-story building in a residential area of Williamsport, where the mats and brooms were made, both in terms of facilities and in the range of services provided to government, industry, and the public.



Many things changed with the move in 2007. The brooms and mats are long gone. Now North Central Sight Services is a government contractor for CDs, DVDs, USB flash drives, and other office supplies. According to Katie, that program is launching a commercial site so the public can also purchase these items from NCSS. Through, over 40,000 products are available. “It’s hard to compete with the ‘big box stores,’ but all the [profits] go to the community,” she says. With the difficulty in obtaining masks and hand sanitizer, NCSS swung into action, finding suppliers in the U.S., and making these vital items available to the region at a reasonable cost, with the profit supporting our region.

Then there is the vending program, with trucks from NCSS filling machines throughout the seven county service area. That, along with the bottleless water cooler service, keeps NCSS trucks busy all over the region.

But the “star” of the show these days is document shredding, a service in over twenty Pennsylvania counties. NCSS provides a secure storage area, used for short term holding of material for shredding. Organizations can also contract long-term storage for business files. A company can even use NCSS to store information until the date that the company wants it destroyed, then have it shredded on that date. They provide a pick-up and delivery service, a barcode tracking system for a business, and file boxes for material. There is even a walk-up service, where anyone can bring papers and electronic media to be shredded, watching as their documents become confetti for thirty-five cents a pound. The area is secure and even the personnel is secure, as the employees who handle this material and run the shredding machines are visually impaired. No one sees sensitive documents.



NCSS’s varied services not only fill government contracts and provide services to businesses in the region, but also provide employment for people who are blind or visually impaired. Around sixty percent of the staff is visually impaired. Even the trucks are staffed by visually impaired people, with sighted people driving the truck to the work site or company that has contracted for the NCSS service. Visually impaired people work the vending service, again with a sighted co-worker. Even the CEO of North Central Sight Services is visually impaired. The employment opportunities are important, as the majority of people with sight problems in this country are unemployed. Here, work stations are set up for people who cannot see. It’s a plant designed for the visually impaired to work in a modern service and distribution plant.

The employment opportunities are only half the story, though. For this organization, through the work it does, generates money for the services it provides, like vision screenings, to the seven county service area and beyond. Currently, the NCSS program serves Head Start in Towanda, Canton, and Troy. They also provide the service to the Northern Tioga School District, along with sites in Lycoming and Clinton counties. They are working on getting vision reports from various school districts, to improve the service in K-12 across the region. NCSS screens 5,000 children a year.

The screening goes beyond children. North Central Sight Services provide health fairs in places like Truck-Lite in Wellsboro and Con-Agra in Wyalusing. The Tioga Downs Casino in Nichols, New York, recently provided $30,000 for mobile labs used by NCSS to serve the communities of the area.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed some of what NCSS offers to the general community.

“Vision impairment is isolating, and the pandemic has made that worse,” Katie explains. “We have adapted to the changes.” Client care specialists at NCSS call people regularly to check on them and provide a friendly voice in a world that feels more distant and unavailable.



Then, there are the electronic and mechanical helps for the blind and visually impaired. Technology has changed these tools, even as the large clocks and numbers are still used. Now, new large monitors and software can magnify print so that someone impaired can read any document as it is displayed on a computer screen. There’s even an app for phones that can take a picture of some printed material and read the label verbally on cans or containers. These computerized helps bring a new level of independence to the everyday life of those who have lost their sight and helps to fight the isolation that a lack of sight can create. NCSS helps visually impaired people, who are often on a limited income, afford these important aids to a richer, more independent life.

It’s a long way from reading to the blind, a service that North Central Sight Services provided back in 1957 as the Blind Association. But the idea of serving the visually impaired and the community at large remains the same. Through technological help, vision screenings, education, and personal support, North Central Sight Services provides and protects a more independent future for those of us with vision problems, and, through that care, to the entire community.

Find out more at (570) 323-9401 or at     

The above article was published in December’s issue of Mountain Home Magazine. 

Link to article 

Hand Sanitizer & Disposable Masks For Sale!


Hand Sanitizer
  LIQUID- 80% Ethenol Alcohol   
Item Number Description Single Bottle 1-5 Cases 6-15 Cases 16+ Cases
6000.307000 8 oz Bottle with Sprayer (24/case)  $ 4.89  $ 112.56  $ 107.76  $ 102.96
6000.303000 *16.9 oz Bottle with Sprayer (8/Case)  $ 7.59  $ 58.32  $ 55.92  $ 53.92
6000.304000 *32 oz Bottle with Pump (12/Case)  $ 11.39  $ 130.68  $ 125.88  $ 119.88
6000.305000 *Gallon Reg Cap (2/case)  $ 34.69  $ 67.18  $ 63.98  $ 59.98
    Price Per Unit
Item Number Description 1 Drum 2-4 Drums 5+ Drums  
6000.306000 *55 Gallon Drum w/Pump  $ 1,413  $ 1,359  $ 1,299  

  Empty Bottles        
6000.303002 16.9 oz with Sprayer $  2.75      
6000.304002 32 oz with Pump $  3.25      

  GEL- 65% Ethenol Alcohol  Price Per Unit
Item Number Description Single Bottles 1-5 Cases 6-15 Cases 16+ Cases
6000.308000 8 oz Bottle with Pump (24/case)  $ 5.49  $ 124.56  $ 119.76  $ 114.96
6000.309000 16.9 oz Bottle with Pump  $ 8.79  $ 67.92  $ 63.92  $ 61.52
6000.310000 32 oz Bottle with Pump (12/Case)  $ 13.49  $ 155.88  $ 149.88  $ 143.88
6000.311000 Gallon Reg cap (2/case)  $ 43.19  $ 82.98  $ 79.98  $ 75.98
    Price Per Unit
Item Number Description 1 Drum 2-4 Drums 5+ Drums  
6000.312000 55 Gallon Drum w/Pump $ 1,849.00  $1,799.00  $1,699.00  

Item Number Description Single Masks Box of 50    
6000.301000 3 Ply Mask 50/Box $ 0.69 $ 34.50    

Our Sanitizer exceeds CDC requirements and is manufactured in Allen Texas. It is then scented, bottled, labeled, and distributed by North Central Sight Services. We are now a Costars member 351544.

* Reduced pricing available for COSTARS members.

To order: call (866) 320-2580, email or pick up at our Walk-In Shred Entrance located at 2121 Reach Road Williamsport PA 17701

Free Delivery within 50 miles of Williamsport PA. Shipping is available at an additional cost!


Dear Staff and Extended Family,

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) has an increased impact throughout Pennsylvania and across the nation, our first priority is the safety, health, and well-being of our staff members, volunteers and the individuals we are privileged to serve. As of today, we are not aware that any of our staff members or consumers have been diagnosed with COVID-19. We will keep you updated should any new developments arise.  

We are
closely monitoring the rapidly-evolving developments and making sure we abide by the recommended safety guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the state, and our local county health departments. The CDC’s website specifically addresses FAQ’s, symptoms, prevention, and treatment – information that you may find helpful. 

We are taking the necessary steps and precautions to prevent, contain, and minimize any potential exposure to the virus that our organization could face and to protect the particularly vulnerable population that we serve. To that end, we are ensuring that best sanitizing practices are implemented. We are confident that diligent attention from each one of us to the practice of good hygiene, like washing our hands, ensuring that our common areas are sanitized, “social distancing” and self-monitoring, will help to minimize the impact of Coronavirus and any other flu or colds.

All staff are advised to stay home if they are not feeling well.
  Depending on symptomology, a doctor’s release may be required to return to work.  Anyone with a sick child or family member is encouraged to stay home to minimize exposure.  We will, of course, exercise flexibility in administering PTO for anyone who needs to stay home because they are ill or because they have a sick family member.

Staff are asked to avoid crowded events, although most have been cancelled anyway.  We are especially committed to those elderly blind individuals who count on us for transportation and shopping assistance and we will monitor their circumstances as well as we can.  No one will be left without food or transportation to the doctor to the best of our ability.  Vehicles are supplied with sanitizing wipes and hand sanitizers although we must also firmly encourage clients to stay home from any non-necessary appointments if they don’t feel well.

We are discussing additional plans that we will implement if the need arises. Our responses to the situation will remain fluid and we will keep you informed of any changes.


Brian Patchett, MPA, MS


Raise the Region 2020

Mark your calendar for Raise the Region® 2020!

The First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania hosts this annual giving event that gives community members an opportunity to support our local nonprofits to ultimately help the North Central Pennsylvania region thrive! 

This years event will kick off on Wednesday, March 11th at 6:00 PM and run through 11:59 PM on Thursday, March 12th. 

Visit to learn more and support North Central Sight Services! 


Feast for the Eyes

***UPDATE JULY 15, 2020***
We regret to inform that we have decided to cancel this event due to COVID-19.  


***UPDATE MARCH 13, 2020***

Thank you for your support of North Central Sight Services, Inc. by responding with your confirmation of attendance for Feast for the Eyes.

We share the concerns of our Federal, State and Local leaders regarding COVID-19, therefore, we will not be holding our Feast for the Eyes event on Saturday, March 21, 2020 and will be postponing our event until a date in the fall.

We will be placing the funds for this event in a restricted account to be used on the rescheduled date.

Your reservations will still be valid for the postponed event.

Should you have further questions, please contact:


Amy Alexander
Development Director
Mobile (570) 980-3202
Tel: (570) 323-9401 Toll Free (866) 320-2580



Feast for the Eyes, formerly Dining in the Dark will be held March 21, 2020 at the Williamsport Country Club. This annual dining fundraiser is designed to educate attendees about vision loss.

Traditionally, attendees were blindfolded throughout the course of their meal to get a better understanding of what it is like to be blind. This year, attendees will get to experience a variety of different conditions. Various simulators will be placed on each table for attendees to “see” and learn about the different forms of vision loss in hopes to educate and bring awareness to these debilitating conditions. 

Tickets are $100 per person or $750 for a table of 8. 
Sponsorship opportunities are available and seating is limited!

Reserve your spot today! Contact Amy Alexander to learn more! 570-323-9401 ext. 140 or 

Golf for Sight 2020!

**We have made the difficult decision to CANCEL this event. This is very unfortunate as this is our biggest fundraiser each year. If you have signed up to be a sponsor for this event we will contact you. Thank you for your continued support**

North Central Sight Services annual Golf for Sight Tournament will take place on May 29, 2020 at Wynding Brook Golf Club in Milton. This years event we focus on “Placing 20 in 20.” Our goal is to place 20 individuals who are blind or visually impaired into part-time and full-time employment. 70% of all blind and visually impaired people are unemployed. North Central Sight Services is changing this statistic! It costs on average $2,000 to locate, evaluate, and train an individual. Through your support, NCSS can reach and exceed this goal! 

NCSS has raised over $100,000 in the past few years from this event that was used towards our Assistive Technology Program. Technology is crucial for someone with little to no vision. There are so many tools available that can positively impact someone who can’t see. We are here to assist those so they are able to live a more independent, fulfilling life. 

Sponsorship opportunities are available but don’t delay this tournament fills up fast! Come be a part of the golf event that every talks about!

Contact Cory Lehman for more information and to reserve your spot! 570-323-9401 ext. 138 or



#Giving Tuesday

Mark you calendar for #GivingTuesday on December 3, 2019!

This year, we are again working with the AllOne Charities Foundation as a participant of its Giving Tuesday Match Program.

Visit to learn more and make a donation during #GivingTuesday to North Central Sight Services!

#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving that harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities and organizations to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide.


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