Volunteer Spotlight: ‘Lens’ing A Hand

S. Wallis paint

In honor of National Volunteer Week (April 6-12, 2014), Direct Relief is spotlighting dedicated volunteers who help make the work possible. Learn about some of the wonderful people behind the scenes.

An avid reader, Sandra Wallis knows the value of eyesight and works hard to make sure people around the world have access to prescription eyeglasses.

Sandra first started volunteering with Direct Relief after hearing about the work the organization was doing in response to the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. After working at the Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for nearly 40 years, Sandra had begun looking for ways to help out in the community and said she “knew Direct Relief was doing tremendous things.”

With a medical science background and decades of experience, Sandra currently oversees the Eyeglass Project at Direct Relief. The Eyeglass Project collects unwanted prescription eyeglasses from community members and donates them to those in need. Sandra sorts the glasses, noting their prescription strength so that recipients can easily be matched with a pair.

Motivated by her love for reading and color, Sandra said she “understands the importance of good eyesight” which inspires her to keep the Eyeglass Project going. Sandra shares her passion for helping others with her two grandchildren who enjoy helping out with the project from time to time.

“What a fabulous organization, I am a firm believer in Direct Relief,” said the Massachusetts native. The Eyeglass Project is not Sandra’s only project with Direct Relief. Since she started volunteering, Sandra has also put her skills to use processing donated medical and surgical equipment.

Sandra is eager to keep the Eyeglass Project going and encourages all community members to donate any glasses they no longer have a need for. To learn how to donate eyeglasses, email info@directrelief.org.

5 Comments
  1. Why not coordinate with the Lions Club? They do the same thing. :)

  2. Hello, I read the ‘lens’ ing story and realized that I have prescriptive glasses to donate. So please let me know how to go about that.
    Thank you

    • If you live locally in the Santa Barbara area, you can bring them up to our headquarters. If not, you can mail them to 27 S. La Patera Ln, Santa Barbara, CA 93117 with a note explaining they are for the Eyeglass Project and an address where we can send you a receipt. Thanks for reaching out and wanting to help!

  3. i just returned from a medical mission, with my brother, Dr. Bert Green, who is on the board of Direct Relief. I am an ophthalmologist. We were in Kordan, helping Syrian refugees. We gave away at least 400 pairs of glasses!! We made a huge impact on these very unfortunate people, who are totally up rooted form their homes, lives, families and country.

    Thank you for your efforts. The glasses we brought were from Direct Relief.

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