Leading hospitality art provider, Kalisher, announced the launch of Helen’s Glasses (www.helensglasses.org), a partnership with an NGO in Ghana designed to bring the gift of better eyesight to people there. Who better to lead the charge to improve people’s eyesight than a company who earns its living creating work that must be seen to be appreciated? Artist, Executive Vice-President and Creative Director at Kalisher, Helen Kalisher, said that collecting used eyeglasses has been a passion of hers for years.
Ms. Kalisher created an earlier version of Helen’s Glasses many years ago when she placed collection boxes around her adopted hometown of Chapel Hill, NC. “We collected hundreds of glasses in a relatively short period of time,” Helen remembered.
This time around, Helen and Jesse have worked with Freedom From Hunger and identified a partner in Ghana even before collecting their first pair of glasses. “We launched the website earlier this year,” Helen’s husband, artist and President of Kalisher, Jesse Kalisher said, adding that some folks have already started to send in glasses.
The World Health Organization estimates that as many as one billion people in the world need glasses. Many of these people don't have access to affordable eye care. Helensglasses.org reports that three billion people live on less than $2.50 a day ($913 per year), and that there is one eye doctor for every million people in sub-Saharan Africa. The website goes onto state that, “poor vision hurts human beings of all ages and impairs their education, their economic condition and indeed, their very safety.”
“Individual donations are good,” Ms. Kalisher pointed out. “But I hate to think of the inefficiency of getting a single pair of glasses to us… better that we fill collection boxes and get those sent back to us filled with used glasses.”
“Jesse and Helen Kalisher have been long-time supporters of Freedom from Hunger,” said President Steve Hollingworth. “Their generosity and commitment to the service of others is commendable and their latest project to help the visually impaired is wonderful. We wish them great success with this important endeavor.”
Helen’s Glasses plans to send empty donation boxes to a range of hospitality design firms, purchasing companies and brands. “Maybe we’ll even get lost and unclaimed eyeglasses from individual properties,” Mr. Kalisher said, adding that with used glasses from the design industry, the people in Ghana will be fitted in style…
Mr. Kalisher noted the design industry’s stellar record for philanthropy, adding that, “nearly every week someone in our industry asks us to donate to one charity or another. The brilliant benefit to Helen’s Glasses is that we can all stand up as an industry and make a difference in the lives of others – and we’re not asking for a single dollar in support of our efforts… just our old eyeglasses that are gathering dust.”
You can learn more – or request an empty donation box at www.helensglasses.org.