Going great distances for others

Written by Admin, published on August 25, 2015 Donate Today

We have an incredible group of supporters. We’re constantly blown away by their commitment to eliminating avoidable blindness and their dedication to make a difference in the lives of others. Some of our supporters are literally going great distances (hundreds of kilometres even!) to raise awareness and funds for Operation Eyesight.

Last month, Brad and Jennifer Diggens raised over $4,300 for our well programs in Zambia through their Hike for Life fundraiser. The father-daughter duo hiked for six days along the La Cloche Silhouette Trail, a challenging 93-kilometre backpacking trek in Ontario’s Killarney Provincial Park.

Jennifer explains: “On our toughest days, there were only two things that got us through: thinking about our supporters and thinking about the people in Zambia who must make difficult walks every day just to get water.”

This is the third year in a row Jennifer and Brad have hiked in support of Operation Eyesight. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for them next summer!

Jennifer and Brad on their Hike for Life.

Back in 2013, Dean Loewen and his team from the Mechanical Contractors Association of British Columbia (MCABC) also supported our water projects in Zambia. Their Run for “Well”ness, in which each runner ran the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon or 5K, raised enough money to drill four wells in Zambia’s Sinazongwe district. These wells are providing communities with clean water and preventing the spread of the blinding eye disease trachoma. Thank you, MCABC!

The MCABC Run for “Well”ness team.

On July 30 this year, ultra-runner Norma Bastidas completed the Badwater® 135, the world’s toughest foot race, in Death Valley, California. She ran 135 miles (217 km) through extreme heat and intense elevation changes, all in support of Operation Eyesight.

“I have never worked this hard for a race,” says Norma. “But I knew the further I went, the better off someone else would be.”

Norma raised over $17,000 for Operation Eyesight’s programs in India and Africa. Thank you, Norma. And congratulations!

Norma poses with the coveted Badwater® belt buckle and t-shirt. Way to go, Norma! [Photo by Chris Kostman/Badwater.com]
Even our employees are lacing up their running shoes to ensure our work to eliminate avoidable blindness continues. Coming up on August 30, our entire staff in India will participate in the Airtel Hyderabad Marathon, running 10 kilometres to raise funds for our community eye health programs in India. Go team!

Team India is ready for the Hyderabad Marathon this weekend!

We’re extremely grateful to Norma, Brad, Jennifer, MCABC and our staff who are supporting Operation Eyesight in creative ways – and who are inspiring others to do so, too! If you’re interested in organizing a fundraising event, please check out our Fundraising Toolkit. We have everything you need to get started.

Remember, you don’t have to be a professional athlete to organize a fundraising event. You can run marathons and climb mountains if that’s your passion, but you can also organize a walk, swim laps, rollerblade or even skip to raise money. And if physical activity isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other fun activities that you can try. Visit our website for ideas. 

For more information, email events@operationeyesightindia.org. We look forward to hearing from you!