Posts in Category: “United States”

Helen Keller International’s domestic program, ChildSight®, “brings education into focus™” by providing free, on-site vision screenings, prescription eyeglasses, and referrals for further care (as needed) for children living in poverty in the United States.

Rebel with a Cause

An entrepreneur’s vision to end Vitamin A Deficiency
Aframes_Poster_2.1

When Wes Stoody entered Eastern Michigan University he thought he wanted to be a professor. Five years later he is educating people, but not in the way he originally planned. Along with business partner Jay Parkin and his sister, Maggie Stoody, Wes created Aframes, a socially conscious line of unisex eyewear. The company sells fashionable sunglasses with the dual goal of raising awareness about vitamin A deficiency (VAD) and helping to fund programs that prevent it.

Aframes is partnering with Helen Keller International and will donate 5% of all revenue to help HKI’s vitamin A supplementation programs around the world.

Next week, Aframes is going one step further: the company will donate 50% of its revenue to HKI in celebration of the start of summer. We encourage you to visit their website between May 28th and June 2nd to take advantage of this generous offer!

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Categories Preventing Blindness, United States

Helen Keller Spotted Buying Orange-Fleshed Sweetpotatoes

The famous social activist talks about the importance of vitamin A
Helen Keller, age 79, 1959

Shopping at my local supermarket this morning, imagine my surprise when I spotted Helen Keller! I debated whether I should bother her  – because most celebrities like to be left alone  – but decided I had to go up and introduce myself.  Not only is my organization, Helen Keller International (HKI), named after her, but she is also a personal hero of mine.

I caught up with her in the vegetable aisle and asked her why she was shopping so early on a Sunday morning. She was beyond gracious, encouraging me to call her Helen instead of Ms. Keller. “I am making a sweetpotato pie for dessert tonight,” she explained, “I’ve invited some friends over for dinner to introduce them to the great work that HKI is doing, and wanted to show them how delicious vitamin A can be.”

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Categories Helen Keller, United States

TOMS is Helping Give Sight to Children in the U.S.

TOMS-logo-with-mission-300x239

This post originally appeared on TOMS’ blog.  Helen Keller International is partnering with TOMS to provide prescription eyeglasses to students in need through our ChildSight® program.

As TOMS sight giving continues in Nepal, Tibet and Cambodia, we are very happy to share that TOMS Eyewear purchases are now helping restore sight to children in the United States as well!

TOMS is excited to partner with Helen Keller International’s (HKI) ChildSight® program to help provide prescription glasses to children living in impoverished U.S. communities. Since 1994, ChildSight® has provided vision screening and prescription eyeglasses to at-risk students living in urban and rural communities in cities like New York, Los Angeles, Cleveland and the Navajo Nation. TOMS Eyewear is proud to join them in helping provide new glasses to children.

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Categories Preventing Blindness, United States

A Great Last Minute Gift

Christmas Oranament

Hanukkah has begun and Christmas is just days away. If you’re still looking for the perfect gift, look no further!  This holiday season, make a donation to Helen Keller International in honor of someone special to help save the sight and lives of the world’s most vulnerable people.

Whatever amount you give  – $1,000 to provide 1,000 children with life-saving vitamin A, $250 to restore the vision of five people through cataract surgery, or $25 to give one American child the glasses she needs  – your gift will make a significant improvement in someone’s life. You can’t say the same for fruitcake!

Don’t just take my word for it: Pulitzer prize-winning New York Times columnist, Nick Kristof included HKI in his annual gift guide noting: “HKI gets more bang for the buck than almost any group I can think of.”

Our success is due to the loyal commitment of friends and supporters like you. During this season of giving as we look forward to a new year, please consider making a difference with a donation to Helen Keller International.

On behalf of the HKI team working around the globe – and those whose lives are touched because of your generosity – we wish you happy holidays and a healthy and prosperous New Year.

Santa-Cambodia

A drawing from a child in Cambodia who benefited from our Homestead Food Production program. The ornament at top was drawn by a student in NYC who received free eyeglasses through our ChildSight® program.

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Categories Preventing Blindness, Reducing Malnutrition, United States

Trick or Treat, HKI-style

Happy Halloween

For those of you still scrambling for the perfect Halloween costume, I have a great last-minute suggestion: dress up as your favorite micronutrient! Just because your Halloween candy may not have nutritional value, doesn’t mean your costume can’t.

Below are some costume ideas from HKI staff that embody an essential vitamin or mineral:

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Categories United States

Bringing Education into Focus™: Meet HKI’s Nancy Prail

An interview with HKI's Director of Childsight®
Prail in New Mexico

How many people can say that their job brings instant gratification through very simple solutions? Ask Nancy Prail (left in blue shirt), our Director of Childsight®, and she will tell you it happens to her all the time.

Helen Keller International’s ChildSight® program serves at-risk children living in urban and rural poverty by offering free vision screenings and eyeglasses. ChildSight® overcomes the two biggest barriers to childhood vision care: prohibitive cost and limited access. Since 1994, ChildSight® has screened over 1.4 million students in the U.S. and has provided free eyeglasses to over 186,000 of the nation’s most vulnerable children. The result is a significant increase in class participation, a reduction in disruptive behavior and a dramatic improvement in self-confidence. Click here to watch HKI’s video on the Childsight® program.

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Categories Preventing Blindness, Staff Profiles, United States

Back to School with ChildSight®

A new year of "bringing education into focus™" begins.
ChildSight students

This post was written by Nancy Prail, HKI ChildSight® Director.

What a summer our ChildSight® sites have had! New York, New Jersey and Connecticut survived an earthquake and then flooding from Hurricane Irene. Los Angeles braved Carmageddon, and New Mexico and Ohio endured record-breaking heat. But, we all came through these challenges ok, and as happens every year right after Labor Day, we said good-bye to summer and hello to a new school year!

As children flock to schools with brand new notebooks, pencils, and back-to-school outfits, there is an undeniable excitement in the air. However, for some, the hope of a fresh start turns into frustration and disappointment when they begin to struggle with school work simply because they cannot see the blackboard well enough to complete their lessons.

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Categories Preventing Blindness, United States

Oh What A Night!

HKI’s Spirit of Helen Keller Gala a Smashing Success
Kathy Spahn, Meryl Streep, Reinold Geiger ©HKI/Joe Vericker-PhotoBureau

This post was written by Peggy O’Neill, Vice President of Development, Individual Giving.

Herbs from Provence, a Hollywood legend, and vitamin A.  What do they have in common?  All took center stage on Tuesday, May 24th at Helen Keller International’s sixth annual Spirit of Helen Keller Gala.

Over 300 guests filled the Grand Ballroom at the Pierre Hotel on Tuesday, May 24th to support HKI’s programs to prevent blindness and reduce malnutrition and celebrate our honorees, Reader’s Digest Partners for Sight Foundation (PFS) and Reinold Geiger, CEO of L’OCCITANE en Provence.  Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we raised a remarkable $825,000 for HKI’s sight-and life-saving programs!  And donations are still coming in! more…

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Categories Helen Keller, United States

World Traveler for Public Health: Meet HKI’s Nancy Haselow

An interview with HKI's Vice President and Regional Director for Asia-Pacific
Nancy Haselow in China

Have you ever met anyone who has visited and worked in over 50 countries and lived in Zaïre, Niger, Cambodia, Vietnam, The Philippines, Cameroon, Senegal and the U.S.? We have, and it’s our Vice President and Regional Director for Asia-Pacific, Nancy J. Haselow. I recently asked Nancy to tell us about her career in public health, and found someone who is not only an inveterate traveler, but also a tireless crusader for improving the lives of as many vulnerable people as possible.

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Categories Africa, Asia-Pacific, Helen Keller, Preventing Blindness, Reducing Malnutrition, Staff Profiles, United States

How to Be Inspired by Your Job Every Day: Meet HKI’s Kathy Spahn

An interview with HKI's President and CEO
Kathy Spahn in Mozambique

Have you ever dreamt about having more fun at your job, or wondered why some people really look forward to going to work every day? Ask Kathy Spahn, President and Chief Executive Officer of Helen Keller International, about her work. Even after five years, she still feels rewarded and energized by her job. I recently asked Kathy to tell us about her journey to HKI and what inspires her the most.

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Categories Africa, Asia-Pacific, Helen Keller, Preventing Blindness, Reducing Malnutrition, Staff Profiles, United States