The Center for Vision Loss has announced that it earned more than $100,000 in corporate and foundation gifts during the second half of its 2020 fiscal year, which ended on June 30.
That support included more than $6,000 from special grants related to the global COVID-19 pandemic and more than $14,000 in converted sponsorships from the agency’s Songs4Sight 2020 fundraiser. The concert event was canceled due to public health restrictions on crowd gatherings.
Corporate and foundation gifts support the agency’s operations and several of its services in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley and Monroe County. These services include guided transportation for its clients with permanent sight loss, vision rehabilitation services, vision screenings for children, the Camp I CAN! summer programs for kids, and the provision of assistive technologies to clients.
The Center for Vision Loss’ 2020 fiscal year budget was approximately $1.1 million. Effects from the COVID-19 pandemic have included the cancellation of Songs4Sight and an additional fundraising event, reduced income from services, and decreased giving from individuals.
“Corporate and foundation support has always influenced our ability to pursue our mission and that impact was magnified during the second half of our fiscal year,” said Dennis Zehner, Executive Director of the Center for Vision Loss. “These gifts also are insightful investments from which they and their communities gain returns. Clients empowered to remain independent spend less time in assisted living facilities and decrease pressure on our regional tax base. Clients who keep medical appointments through our transport service generate less strain our healthcare ecosystem and children who become successful learners from our vision screenings mature into qualified employment candidates.”
Gifts and grants attained from January through June 2020 were as follows:
- A $35,000 grant from an anonymous family foundation for agency operations
- A $15,000 grant from the Alburtis Lions Club and the Northeast Pennsylvania Lions Service Foundation for vision rehabilitation services
- A $6,500 grant from the Two Rivers Health & Wellness Foundation for the client transport service in Northampton County
- A $6,000 grant from the Dr. Claus G. Jordan Endowment Fund of the Lehigh Valley Health Network Pocono Foundation to provide assistive technologies for clients in Monroe County
- A special $5,000 grant from the United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley COVID-19 Response Fund for agency operations
- A $5,000 gift from the Fleming Foundation for agency operations
- A $5,000 grant from the Highmark Foundation for the client transport service in Lehigh and Northampton counties
- A $5,000 grant from Sanofi Pasteur for the client transport service in Monroe County
- A $3,000 grant from the Julius and Kathryn Hommer Foundation for vision screenings in Monroe County
- A $1,500 grant from IronPigs Charities for the Camp I CAN! summer program
- A $1,500 grant from the Allentown Rotary Club to support vision screenings for kids in Allentown during the 2021 fiscal year
- A special $1,419 grant from the Two Rivers Health & Wellness Foundation to underwrite part of a hospital-grade cleaning of the agency’s Lehigh Valley Campus in response to the COVID-19 pandemic
- A $1,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation for the client transport service in Monroe County
- A $600 gift from The Torrey Family Fund of the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation for agency operations
Converted Songs4Sight sponsorships included a $4,000 gift from St. Luke’s University Health Network; $1,000 gifts from Accessibility Shield and Lehigh Eye Specialists; a $1,000 gift from Lang, Faylor, Chomo and Company; a $750 gift from UGI Utilities; $500 gifts from Cornerstone Advisors Asset Management, Fox Optical & Gallery, and Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network; a $250 gift from A Definite Edge Management Consulting; and a $100 gift from Campbell, Rappold & Yurasists Certified Public Accountants.
The Center for Vision Loss empowers people with visual impairments to seize their independence and advances healthy eyesight. With operations in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley and Monroe County, it combines a service tradition motivated by Helen Keller’s advocacy in 1928 with contemporary practices and state-of-the-art technologies. The organization’s support and rehabilitation services promote the accomplishment of daily tasks, increased access to medical services and food supplies, enhanced personal wellness, and extended self-sufficiency. Its free vision screenings for children stimulate success in school and its community education programs advocate for eye health and safety. All agency services are provided at little or no cost, and more than 80% of its clients with vision loss are from low-income households.
The Center for Vision Loss is an independent member of the Pennsylvania Association for the Blind (PAB) that is accredited nationally by the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER) and affiliated with the VisionServe Alliance, a network of nearly 120 North American agencies that serve people with impaired sight.