EYEsee News

EYEsee Completes its 2013 Campaign

The 2013 Campaign−EYEsee's fifth annual used eyeglasses collection drive−concluded with 6,553 eyeglasses collected. Collection drives were held at various Chicago locations which included area churches, senior homes, private offices, optical clinics, elementary and high schools and universities. The 2013 Campaign aimed to supply health missions this year to Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Cambodia, Philippines, Uganda and Nigeria. Peter Glinos, chapter president of EYEsee at Saint Viator High School and a senior student, coordinated the 2013 Campaign.

Saint Viator students Amy Sonnicksen and Tristan Blus led the parish program. Twelve parishes joined the 2013 Campaign beginning with the January 19th – 20th campaign kick-off at Holy Family Parish in Inverness. Parish weekend collection drives were held at St. Matthew (Schaumburg), St. Theresa (Palatine), St. Raymond de Penafort (Mt. Prospect), St. Isidore (Bloomindale), Mary Seat of Wisdom (Park Ridge), St. Anne (Barrington), St. Julian Eymard (Elk Grove), St. Marcelline (Schaumburg), Queen of the Rosary (Elk Grove), St. Zachary (Des Plaines) and Church of the Holy Spirit (Schaumburg). The parish program netted 2,600 eyeglasses.

Optical Clinics
Saint Viator student Paul Lewis continued on with his leadership of the optical clinics program that he assumed during last year's campaign. Paul is credited with having established EYEsee’s network of optical clinics in the Chicago suburbs.

Seventeen optical clinics donated 1,655 eyeglasses to this year's campaign. They are Suburban Optics (Arlington Hts.), Crystal Clear Eye Clinic (Schaumburg), Palmer-Lorenz Optical (Palatine), VisionWorks (Hoffman Estates), Rosin Eye Care (Streamwood), Martin Optical (Arlington Hts.), Northwest Ophthalmology (Arlington Hts.), Northwest Eye Clinic (Des Plaines), Special Eyes Optical (Arlington Hts.), Lossman Eyecare (Elk Grove), Global Optical (Hoffman Estates), Sullivan-Ostoich Eye Center (Hoffman Estates), Carol Stream Vision Center (Carol Stream), Eye Site of Illinois (Mt. Prospect), Palermo Eye Care (Arlington Hts.) and Suburban Associates in Ophthalmology (Elk Grove). Paul received an additional donation of 45 eyeglasses from the Nursing Home Care Division of the Village of Schaumburg.

Schools & Campus Ministries
Saint Viator student Alexandra Glinos again led this year's school & campus ministries program. This program collected 783 eyeglasses from Frassati Catholic Academy (Wauconda), Our Lady of Perpetual Help School (Glenview), Hoover Math & Science Academy (Schaumburg) and Saint Viator High School (Arlington Hts.). Sheil Catholic Center at Northwestern University and Calvert House at the University of Chicago were again hosts to this year’s campaign. Mary Nell Murphy of IT Services at the University of Chicago run a campus collection drive. EYEsee also received 148 eyeglasses from Daniela Alcazar, president of the International Club at Chaparral High School in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Private Offices
Saint Viator Student Brandon Recht led the private offices program, which collected 433 eyeglasses. The Women of AT&T Northern Illinois Chapter again supported EYEsee’s campaign with a donation of 180 eyeglasses. Collection drives were also held at CBRE Atrium Corporate Center (Rolling Meadows and Schaumburg offices), Jones Lang LaSalle (Schaumburg) and Hamilton Partners (Barrington). HealthPlus Fitness Center in Auburn, Alabama, once again supported EYEsee with a donation of 111 eyeglasses.

Service Groups
This service group program, led by Saint Viator student Trisha Aguilar, brought in 667 eyeglasses. Alex Silverstein, a senior of Biotechnology High School in Freehold, New Jersey, run a collection drive at ophthalmology clinics in his community after learning about EYEsee last year. He collected 343 eyeglasses for the 2013 Campaign. Boy Scout Michael Jensen led collection drives in the Frisco-area, Texas, for this Eagle Scout service project. His project resulted in 324 eyeglasses during school collection drives in Hunt, Pioneer Heritage, Staley and Frisco.

Senior Homes
Saint Viator student Amanda Esczuk led this year's senior homes program. Amanda and her team of volunteers held one-day collection drives at The Moorings (Arlington Hts.) and the Park at Golf Mill (Niles) for senior residents. The team collected 99 eyeglasses.

Private Donations
EYEsee received 271 eyeglasses from 49 named and anonymous donors who mailed in their donation of eyeglasses. Many of these donors have generously supported EYEsee’s past campaigns, including out-of-state donors. A donor from Thailand learned about EYEsee and mailed in his eyeglass donation.

Student Volunteers
Twenty Saint Viator students supported the 2013 Campaign through their participation in the collection programs. Many helped during the weekend parish collected drives, where they received eyeglass donations from parishioners and answered questions about EYEsee's work and mission. Other students worked in teams on their programs and run their own collection drives at various locations. Collectively, these students logged 341 service hours.

EYEsee gratefully acknowledges its donors, sponsors and volunteers for their support of the 2013 Campaign.

EYEsee Supports 2013 Mission to Mexico

EYEsee supplied the August 30-September 1, 2013 mission to Juarez, Mexico, by the Calvary Baptist Church in Montgomery, Illinois, with 200 eyeglasses. This mission was partnership project with Grace Baptist Church in Juarez, Mexico. Their ministries include a rehabilitation center for addictions, an orphanage and senior citizens meals ministry. Esther Carmona, mission lead, reports on the results of their mission.

Dear EYEsee,

This mission was a wonderful experience. One of many times that I am fortunate to see the hand of God. I was accompanied by my father, Pastor Marcos Carmona, representing Calvary Baptist Church in Montgomery, Illinois. Pastor Carmona held a 3-day conference teaching members of the church and community the importance of family. Many families were able to publicly announce that they promise to break the Hispanic “machismo” cultural mold and adopt the one that Christ as set forth. The community was blessed to have clear vision and most rewarding, able to read their bibles again.

The first day, I was able to set up the area that would be used for the eyeglass mission. There were three tables that had about 50-60 eyeglasses per table. Attached to the table was a near sighted card to help people when they try on the eyeglasses. I also had attached 3 eye charts on the walls to help with focusing. About 75 people received their eyeglasses, the majority being women and men not as many children.

On the second day, I was able to give out about 50 glasses. A mother with a child who desperately needed eyeglasses came to the clinic. The boy had a hard time seeing the chalkboard and doing homework for school. I used simple Look-N-Find children books to assess how bad his vision was. He had trouble seeing the differences in colors as well as the words on the pages. I became nervous not exactly knowing what to do but our Lord is great and powerful. As I was looking for some options for him, I stumbled upon a pair of small blue eyeglasses. He tries them on and it’s almost a miracle. His smile was so large; that was when I knew that those were for him!

On the third day of our mission another 40 received their eyeglasses. So many people had so much gratitude toward this mission. Many had no means to get any form of vision assistance. When I say many, I mean the number of senior citizens in this area who are primary caretakers of their grandchildren. Those children’s parents are gone due to addictions, abandonment and death due to violence. It was a blessing for them to have someone care about their vision.

Thank you so much for supporting our ministry, because of your support we were able to see so many souls saved. We don’t have the words to tell you how valuable your support was to us. Thank you for your faithfulness to God in this regard. The Word of God says, “And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19)

Please pray for us; we plan on repeating this mission in the future.

With love,
Esther Chanthavong

EYEsee Supports 2013 Mission to Haiti

EYEsee supported a second mission to Haiti in 2013 and this was in the town of Anse-a-pitres. This mission was led by Ann Prepare Lavni, Inc. (Haitian Creole meaning, “Let us prepare the future”), a student-run organization at the University of California, Davis. APL has been serving in Anse-a-pitres since 2011 with their multi-lingual program that allows children to learn a second language (English, Spanish or French). APL’s July 15-August 3, 2013 mission was their first vision mission to Anse-a-pitres. Carolina Tavarez, APL founder and director reports on the mission outcome:

Dear EYEsee,

Thanks to the support of EYEsee, Ann Prepare Lavni, Inc., has its first vision mission in the town of Anse-a-pitres, Haiti. In this town, there is no free medical service that covers vision care. In order to obtain this service, members of the community need to cross the border to Dominican Republic (process that requires a visa), travel to Jacmel by boat, or go to the capital, Port Au Prince. Getting to these different sites requires money and time, which prohibits them to accomplish this journey since most earn only $1.00 a day as income. The total cost of travel, visa, doctor’s appointment, examination and eyeglasses purchase is over $20,000.

Most of our APL members are primarily students who help their parents work at the main market. Thanks to your support, 130 APL parents benefitted from this free service. Our medical mission took place July 15th to August 3, 2013. We worked in collaboration with the Anse-a-pitres public health care center and an ophthalmologist from the Dominican Republic. During our first week, we spread the word about the service in town. The last two weeks, we performed screening, examinations and distribution of the eyeglasses. None of the members paid for services or eyeglasses. We were able to help 100 mothers, 30 fathers and 20 children with free reading glasses. Dieula Doiren, mother of 11 (3 of them enrolled in APL’s program) said, “I am very grateful for my new glasses. I’ve been having eye problems for more than 5 years, but couldn’t afford my glasses or the doctor’s visit. Today, I can see and I’ve no more headaches.”

Your generous donation of service and items has been acknowledged during our interview in our local channel UNIVISION 19 as a sponsor, listed on our website, and written on the library’s Wall of Donors. If you have any questions for need any additional information, please email me or contact me by phone. On behalf of our students, parents, staff, and doctors in Anse-a-pitres, thank you for making this project possible and for providing this much needed service to thousands of people around the globe.

L. Carolina Tavarez
Founder & Director
Ann Prepare Lavni, Inc.

For additional info about Ann Prepare Lavni, contact (530) 638-1363 or mail Ann Prepare Lavni, 457 Memorial Union Box 504, Davis, CA 95616-8596

Texas Boy Scout Runs EYEsee Collection Drives

Boy Scout Michael Jansen of Troop 2187 in Frisco, Texas, run a month-long eyeglasses collection campaign in the Frisco area for his Eagle Scout service project. EYEsee served as the project sponsor and both Boy Scout leaders Brent Coles Scott Jensen approved the project. To become an Eagle Scout, a life scout is required to plan, develop and give leadership to others in a service project that benefits an organization other than Boy Scouting. Michael chose EYEsee as the beneficiary of his service project.

Michael organized a team of 10 people to help him with his project. His team was comprised of his scout leaders, scouts from his troop and his family members. As part of the project preparation, he trained his scouts how to run an eyeglasses collection drive. The scouts also made several posters to help advertise their various collection drives. They also obtained permissions to hold collection drives in company buildings.

Michael started his project in the third week of February after training his scouts. The scouts led collection drives at their schools in Hunt, Pioneer Heritage, Staley and Frisco. The scouts also collected at Target, Walmart and Sam’s Club stores. In addition, the team arranged with eye doctors’ offices and large eyewear stores such as LensCrafters and Pearle Vision to collect eyeglasses at their locations.

At the end of the 4-week campaign, Michael and his team collected 350 eyeglasses. They sorted and counted the eyeglasses and then bubble-wrapped and boxed them for shipping to EYEsee. Michael budgeted $100.00 for his project, which included the office supplies to make the posters and collection boxes and the cost of shipping the eyeglasses to EYEsee. Of the total expenses, he paid $25.00 and his donors covered the rest of the expenses.

Michael’s eyeglasses were part of the lot that supplied the 2013 missions to Haiti, Honduras and Nicaragua. Many of the beneficiaries in those missions received their eyeglasses for the first time. Michael’s project helped improved the quality life of many people in those countries.

EYEsee Supports 2013 Mission to Haiti

Mission to the World (MTW) is the international mission sending organization of the Presbyterian Church in America. MTW partners with national churches and indigenous leaders to minister among unreached people, be they in large cities or remote areas. Each year, MTW sends a health mission to Port Au Prince, Haiti, to minister to the needy. EYEsee supported this year’s mission with a donation of 200 recycled eyeglasses. The following is an excerpt from the mission report by Amy Douglass, R.N., team leader of MTW’s May 6-12, 2013 mission to Port Au Price:

Dear EYEsee,

Our team consisted of 5 physicians, 3 nurses and 7 non-medical people. Many of us met in person only for the first time. We came from all over the US (California, New York, Maine and New Hampshire) and from different backgrounds. What we had in common was answering the calls for missions.

As in last year’s mission, our team worked together with Pastor Jean Paul and All Soul Ministries (Reformation Hope) in the LaPlaine section of Port Au Prince. The ministry includes an orphanage, a school, the church and a seminary.

We held our clinics in the church and we saw patients for five days. The physicians assessed each patient and dispense eyeglasses to those who need them. Two team members helped find the suitable eyeglasses for each patient.

Pastor Jean Paul shared with us that people who were treated stopped by to tell him that they would be coming to church as a result of our work! We pray that they will come!

A total of 560 patients were seen during this week of clinics. We were able to offer all treatment, medication and supplies due to the organizations that donated medications and supplies.

Thank you so much for your donation. I look forward to your support of next year’s mission to Haiti.

EYEsee Supports 2013 Mission to Honduras

Carolinas Health Foundation (CHF) has been active in Honduras beginning 1997 when they built a clinic with medical and dental rooms on the first floor and living quarters on the second floor. A satellite clinic in lcoteas was opened in 2000. Teams of health professionals journey to the clinic each year to provide free medical, dental and eye care to the poor and needy in this region.

A volunteer team from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences comprising of 5 physicians, 1 advance practice nurse, 2 physician assistants, 5 registered nurses and 1 dental hygienist made its fourth trip to Limon, Honduras on May 4, 2013. EYEsee supported this health mission with a donation of 1,175 recycled eyeglasses. Dr. Ashley Bean, M.D., Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine and Director of Ultrasound Education with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences headed this mission, and the following is an excerpt from her mission report to EYEsee:

On Saturday (May 4th), we arrived in Honduras on the beautiful island of Roatan and spent the afternoon relaxing on the beach. The following day (May 5th) we took the ferry to the mainland and held a clinic in the neighborhood of Colonial Laurels, which developed around the La Ceiba city landfill. We quickly set up shop and saw around 120 patients in a 1-room church before making the 4-hour drive south to the Mosquito Coast and the town of Limon.

On Monday (May 6th), we divided into two teams. One team remained in Limon to see patients from the surrounding area. This team saw 177 patients. A second team journeyed to White Rock, which is a new clinic for us. At Punta Blanca we were able to use a schoolhouse to care for 94 patients and make one home visit to evaluate a patient who was too sick to come to the clinic.

On Tuesday (May 7th), we traveled to Punta Piedra, which is two hours from Limon through African Palm country. Again, the clinic was conducted in a church. We saw around 274 patients in this community that had not seen a doctors since the previous year. Donated eyeglasses were a big hit.

On Wednesday (May 8th), the team split into two teams. One group went to the Carolinas Health Foundation satellite clinic in Icoteas and the other to Plan de Flores where the clinic was held in a church. We were able to care for a combined total of 248 patients.

A very remote clinic was added to this year’s trip. Three of us, plus a Honduran minister, drove through streams three hours through the mountain jungle to reach the small village of Guano. In addition to seeing our typical patients, we cared for children of two area schools, giving them vitamins, anti-worm medicine, toothbrushes and toothpaste. We held clinic on consecutive days in a two-room schoolhouse and spent the night with a gracious minister and his family. During the two clinic days, we treated 260 patients. In addition, while driving back to Limon, we encountered a woman with her mother and son who had been walking for miles to reach the clinic. We conducted a roadside clinic to care for these three people before giving them a ride back towards their home.

On Thursday (May 9th), the school bus picked up people from the nearby village of Plan de Flores and brought them to the Limon clinic. We had another busy day seeing these villagers along with more patients from Limon. In the late afternoon, we packed up the clinic and inventoried the pharmacy to let subsequent teams know what medicines are needed.

In this week of clinics, we were able to care for more than 1,350 patients, fill around 3,500 prescriptions and fit people for prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses. We supplied vitamins to everyone and worm medicine for most people. The range of disease we diagnosed and treated ranged from malnutrition, malaria, fungal and bacterial infections to machete wounds.

The trip could not have been successful without the help of numerous organizations and people. We would like to thank the following organizations for donations of medicines or supplies: The United Methodist Church, the Boy Scouts of America, MAP International, Blessings International, Heart to Heart and EYEsee.

EYEsee Supports 2013 Mission to Nigeria

One World Healthcare, Inc. (OWHI) is a U.S.-based humanitarian organization that provides medical triage and treatment to indigents in 12 local communities in Nigeria. Dr. Kanyo E. Ubesie, M.D., president of OWHI, led a medical team during the March 26-28, 2013 health mission in Ogomo-Lekki, Lagos State of Nigeria. The mission was originally planned for Ebunwana, Ebonyi State of Nigeria but due to security concerns, the mission location had to be moved to Lagos. EYEsee supported this mission with a donation of 300 recycled eyeglasses. Dr. Ubesie reports on the results of this mission:

Dear EYEsee,

Our medical provided healthcare services to the indigents in Ogomo-Lekki, Lagos State of Nigeria. The mission site was re-directed and the date changed due to security reasons. The mission ran for three days and approximately 500 patients were provided health services. The eye team saw approximately 75 patients per day. Eyeglasses were dispersed and the remaining medication and other items were handed to the local health clinic for continuity of care.

The community was very appreciative and thankful for the eyeglasses provided by EYEsee.

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