When poverty in places such as Africa and India is shown in advertisements and on television, the image at the forefront is one of a malnourished child. However, poverty can bring countless other issues that are not often considered—one of these is lack of medical care for eyes. The Gift of Vision Club aims to change that.
On Wednesday, April 29, the Gift of Vision Club held an ice cream fundraiser in the quad after school. The fundraiser was part of the club’s Vision Awareness Week and was paired with a week-long glasses drive.
Gift of Vision holds fundraisers throughout the year for Sankara Eye Foundation, an organization that provides free eye care in rural areas of India. The foundation has conducted over a million free eye surgeries, but it hopes to do more. Currently, Sankara has 9 hospitals and is working on building a tenth toward their goal of building 20 hospitals by the year 2020.
“As a club, Gift of Vision club aims to raise awareness of vision problems and help eradicate curable blindness by supporting Sankara,” club president senior Sruthi Jaykumar said. “In the past, we have organized bake sales, ice cream sales and walk-a-thons to fundraise.”
The Vision Awareness Week has, so far, been successful. All the glasses collected through the drive will be sent to Lions Club, a community service organization, to be redistributed to people in need. The Wednesday ice cream sale alone raised enough money to pay for three complete eye surgeries and will be going towards Sankara Eye Foundation.
When the Gift of Vision Club was founded by Jaykumar in 2013, a goal was set to raise enough money for 20 eye surgeries by 2015. Since that time, the club has raised enough for 25 eye surgeries, and the bake sale on Wednesday boosted that number by three more.
“We are thrilled to have surpassed that goal this year and hope that the Gift of Vision Club will continue making a difference in the future,” Jaykumar said.