The Eyesight Foundation of Alabama passed the $50 million mark recently for the amount of grants made over 14 years, including grants through a Field of Interest Fund at the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham. According to a statement from the Eyesight Foundation, grants have provided eyeglasses for countless schoolchildren, helped aging Alabamians deal with the debilitating effects of glaucoma and macular degeneration, educated residents of poverty-stricken areas of the state’s Black Belt region on eye care and made life easier for military veterans with traumatic combat-related eye injuries.
Grants through the Community Foundation total $307,000 to community nonprofits providing vision outreach projects, including: Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind, $10,000 to provide summer learning experiences for blind and low vision students; Bell Center for Early Intervention, $20,000 towards a special education teacher with vision certification; Kid One Transport, $10,000 to provide transportation to eye appointments for children and expectant mothers; Mobile Lions Charity Foundation, $20,000 to establish a Lions Eye Clinic within the Mobile County Health Department, as a challenge to Lions Club International Foundation and the local lions clubs; EyeCare Alabama, $2,500 eye care outreach to rural Black Belt region; United Cerebral Palsy Greater Birmingham, $7,500 for vision care for persons with severe disabilities; SightSavers America, $145,000 for comprehensive pediatric follow-up eye care; Community Services for Vision Rehabilitation, $37,000 for vision rehab services in Mobile area; Cahaba Valley Health Care, $5,000 for vision program operational support; Impact, $25,000 to vision screen and refer children in Head Start and lower-income daycare through the Focus First program; and Lakeshore Foundation, $20,000 for a sports and recreation camp for military personnel with traumatic eye injuries and $5,000 for a sports and education camp for children and youth with vision impairments.
A$54 million endowment generated by the sale of the Eye Foundation Hospital to UAB provided the start for the Eyesight Foundation. The power of philanthropy shows in the fact that, even after making grants of more than $50 million, the current endowment amounts to $54 million.
Congratulations to the Eyesight Foundation for this significant milestone and what it means for our community. We are glad to serve as a partner to this organization and others as we work together to improve the life of our region.