LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Nevada Blind Children’s Foundation was privately funded until now.

The state recently granted the foundation $1 million. It will help the foundation serve more children and stay open longer.

“You can’t even imagine what would it be like to be completely blind… to live in darkness,” said Emily Smith, Executive Director for Nevada Blind Children’s Foundation.

The Blind Children’s Foundation is the only nonprofit organization in Nevada solely serving blind and visually impaired children.

“They’re just active and happy kids. They want to do the same thing’s everyone else does. They want the same opportunities everybody else has,” said Smith. 

On Friday’s, the children play baseball. 

“We have families that come in right after the diagnosis and there is a lot of crying, anger, and ‘why us’, and ‘why my child’,” said Smith. “We want this to be a safe place to feel that way but also to feel empowered to change the future for their child.”

41 children are enrolled in the after school program. Some people who grew up here are now employees.

“It was really nice to be able to come here and be with kids who understood what I was going through,” said 19-year-old Carly Lamb. 

The Nevada Blind Children’s Foundation’ ultimate goal is to increase high school graduation rates and employment.

Most of the foundation’s programs are free to families. Financial aid is also available. 

In January, the foundation will open a pre-school.

Nevada is one of seven states that does not have a school for the blind.