Volunteer Spotlight: ‘Lens’ing A Hand


United States

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 need.

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