Next Tuesday is Valentine’s Day, a time to express our appreciation for the important people in our lives. It might be unusual to express appreciation to a group of people, but that’s what I’d like to do. And that group of people would be you – our donors.
Seriously, here in our Calgary office we care a great deal for the people who support our work. Many of you have been dropping by the office or sending cheques for years. Some of you are like family.
Other times, we’ll get a big cheque in the mail or receive an encouraging phone call from far away, and the news will travel through the building like wildfire. Hearing about new donors is always a big thrill because that tells us our message is getting through.
Of course, none of Operation Eyesight’s work could happen without your generosity. And as a result, amazing things are happening. Big things – like new hospitals and blindness prevention programs and even entire health care systems. But also smaller things, like a man or woman leaving the eye clinic, squinting into the sunlight and saying something like: “Hey, it’s bright out here. I had forgotten how bright the sun could be.”
There are all kinds of good causes out there, all vying for your attention. Local causes have the best chance of raising money and profile because half the time, the cause is something that affects the donors personally.
Drawing attention to the plight of the blind of India and Africa can be a big challenge, I won’t deny it. But that’s another reason why we appreciate you so much. By supporting Operation Eyesight, you have extended your hearts and minds to people on the other side of the planet – people you care about, but will probably never meet. But I have met them, and here’s what I hear them say: “You have given me back my sight and now I can live again. Thank you, thank you!”
I may be the one who hears these words, but our patients understand that their eyesight was restored because someone far away sent a gift. When they say thank you, often with great emotion, they’re saying it to you.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
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