Us in Making a Visionary Impact - Volunteer for Mission of Mercy Pittsburgh
I hope this email finds you well and filled with an excitement and passion for community service as we embark on a journey to change lives once again. We are proud to announce that the UPMC Vision Institute, Pittsburgh Ophthalmology Society and the Western Pennsylvania Optometric Society will be participating in the Mission of Mercy Pittsburgh event at the David Lawrence Convention Center for the third consecutive year. This year we’ll be providing care on Friday October 27th and Saturday October 28th. We need your support to make this event a success again.
Over the past two years, we have witnessed the transformative power of our collective efforts. We have extended our care to the underserved members of our community, offering vision screening and prescribing glasses to our neighbors in need. From the working poor to the homeless, veterans to uninsured families, we have made a significant impact on their lives by providing access to essential eye care services.
Last year, we accomplished great things together. With 10 refraction lanes, we were able to provide vision screening and free glasses over 700 individuals over two days. We went beyond glasses though, offering no-charge eye appointments for many who required additional care. The response we received from those we served was overwhelming, reminding us of the profound difference we can make through our compassion and expertise.
To make this year's event another success, we need you. We need you to dedicate your time, skills, and compassion to the cause. We need optometrists, ophthalmologists, and refracting techs who can help us provide much needed care for both adults and children.
By volunteering for any number of 6-hour sessions, you can play an integral role in transforming lives and restoring vision for those who would otherwise go without the care they desperately need. You will make a world of difference.
Are you ready to join us on this inspiring journey of service and compassion? Sign up as a volunteer by clicking on this link: 2023 MOM Vision Volunteer Registration
Together, we can make Mission of Mercy Pittsburgh 2023 another event to remember—a beacon of hope and a testament to the transformative power of unity and service. We look forward to working alongside you as we change lives, one pair of glasses at a time.
Katie, Jake, Lawney and Jose
MISSION OF MERCY 2022 | AUGUST 5 & 6, 2022
A Note of Gratitude and Thanks
When we wrote to announce our second year of participation in Mission of Mercy, we challenged ourselves to “go big.” Last year, our team prescribed glasses for roughly 250 people. We set a goal to double that. We are proud to report that our team exceeded all expectations and nearly tripled the number of people cared for.
The group of nearly 100 volunteers from our department and the greater Pittsburgh eye care community worked non-stop for two days to register, refract and fit glasses for over 700 adults and children. Once again, they identified pathologies – diabetic retinopathy, retinal detachments, cataract, glaucoma, and macular degeneration – and made appointments without charge for dozens of people who would not otherwise have access to eye care. The support from all the stakeholders of Mission of Mercy, of the Eye and Ear Foundation, Vision to Learn, and of the Essilor Foundation was enabling but you made it work, amazingly.
The choreography of controlled chaos was impressive to behold. There were moments when it was not clear that the team could keep up with demand. Ultimately, perseverance prevailed, and no patient was turned away.
Thank you to everyone who wrote to share their experiences.
We are grateful for the help of every volunteer. You personified the values that motivate us all. We know many of you wanted to participate and could not. We pledge that you will have the opportunity to do so as we continue to accelerate our community service mission.
With warm gratitude,
Jake Waxman and José-Alain Sahel
For more than 100 years, Blind and Vision Rehabilitation Services of Pittsburgh has empowered people who are blind, deaf blind or vision impaired to become independent. Our mission is to change the lives of persons with vision loss and other disabilities by fostering independence and individual choice.
Our Comprehensive Vision Rehabilitation Center is nationally accredited by the National Accreditation Council for Blind and Low Vision Services (NAC) and offers custom and individualized programs that are designed to accomplish each client’s goals.
Experienced and talented instructors, many of whom are blind or vision impaired themselves, provide instruction in essential areas such as Personal Adjustment to Blindness Training, and Computer Access Technology. We offer Vocational and Employment Services, a Low Vision Rehabilitation Program, and employment through our manufacturing division PBA Industries that contracts with businesses and U.S. governmental departments for signage, manufacturing, textile, and contract work.
We also serve people with other disabilities through day programs and vocational and employment services.
In Fayette, Greene, and Washington counties we offer employment support services and in Somerset County we offer children vision screenings, transportation services, and support groups.
BVRS is heralded by experts in the vision field as one of the top rehabilitation centers in the United States. Our outstanding programs have drawn people from around the nation and some foreign countries. What our clients tell us most often is: “I learned so much! I only wish I had come to BVRS sooner.”
BVRS is a private, non-profit agency that believes in independence through rehabilitation. Our roots in the Pittsburgh community are deep. In 1920, the Pittsburgh Blind Association of Oakland was formed to provide employment to people with vision loss. In 1959 the Greater Pittsburgh Guild for the Blind of Bridgeville was created to help people with vision loss develop independence skills.
Those organizations merged in 1997, and for a short time the new agency was called Pittsburgh Vision Services. In 2005, the Board of Directors gave the agency a new name—Blind & Vision Rehabilitation Services of Pittsburgh—to better reflect what the agency does and those whom it serves.
Today, the missions of both parent organizations are fulfilled through BVRS.
We believe that every person with vision loss and hearing loss can be taught to use their other senses and the vision that remains to live independently and with confidence. We believe that every blind person can learn adaptive techniques and develop new skills so they may live independently. That philosophy is at the core of all our services and programs.
How may we help you?
1816 Locust StreetPittsburgh, PA 15219
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s Library for the Blind and Physically Free public library services are available to eligible Pennsylvania residents who have difficulty reading standard print because of a visual impairment, a physical disability involving the hands, or a reading disability of organic origin. Part of a federal program through the Library of Congress and administered in Pennsylvania by the Carnegie Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, digital audiobooks are distributed on flash drive cartridges playable on a digital audiobook machine, or they can be downloaded directly onto a patron’s smartphone or tablet. All services and materials are completely free, including the digital audiobook player, and the digital downloads are available through a free app. Large print books and audio described DVD movies are also available, and all materials are mailed to the patron’s home and returned to the library through the U.S. Postal Service postage free. In addition, there are never any overdue fines or replacement fees. For more information, please contact the Library’s Outreach Coordinator, Don Ciccone, at 800-242-0586, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh's Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (LBPH) is a network library of the Library of Congress National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. The staff of LBPH can answer reference questions about anything from the weather to accessible technology. Staff is also available to discuss the latest bestsellers and favorite authors and to suggest new titles you may enjoy. Our print and electronic collections include large print books, audio described DVDs, audio books and magazines, physical Braille books and downloadable audio and Braille services through BARD.
Address: 4724 Baum Blvd. Pittsburgh PA 15213Phone: 412.687.2440 or 800.242.0586
The Urgent mission of the Foundation Fighting Blindness is to drive the research that will provide preventions, treatments and cures for people affected by retinitis pigmentosa, age-related macular degeneration, Usher syndrome and the entire spectrum of retinal degenerative diseases. The Foundation is a beacon of hope for those affected by these blinding diseases. Join the fight and help us accelerate our mission.
Mission Vision strives to remove barriers that cause undiagnosed and untreated vision and hearing impairments among impoverished citizens in our community and around the world by advocating for those affected through medical services and education.
Contact us: Phone 724-553-3114
105 Brandt School Rd Ste 204 / Cranberry Twp PA 16066
The Mission of the Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children is to nurture the unique abilities of individuals with blindness and visual impairment through educational excellence and a lifetime of learning. We envision Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children as a global leader in education and advocacy for individuals with blindness and visual impairment.
Located in the heart of Oakland, Pennsylvania, the Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children is a one-of-a-kind educational facility committed to training visually impaired students with additional disabilities. The School also provides vital early intervention and outreach services to visually impaired students, with or without additional challenges, throughout western Pennsylvania.
As a private institution chartered by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the School educates approximately 180 enrolled students annually from 242 school districts within western Pennsylvania. Students may enroll at age three and they can continue until 21.
Our students benefit from the experience and expertise of staff who focus on helping students use their “residual” vision to the best of their ability. The curriculum emphasizes the acquisition of life skills. Certified teachers of the visually impaired and qualified therapists and health professionals collaborate on planning and implementing effective, individualized educational programs.
The School accepts students as young as age two, though many enroll in later years. A student can remain until the end of the school year when he or she turns twenty-one. Seventy-five percent of those who enroll will complete their education at WPSBC.
ADDRESS:201 North Bellefield Ave. Pittsburgh, PA 15213
The Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE) is one of 58 federally designated not-for-profit organ procurement organizations (OPOs) in the United States. CORE works closely with donor families and designated healthcare professionals to deliver the gift of hope by coordinating the surgical recovery of organs, tissues and corneas for transplantation. CORE also facilitates the computerized matching of donated organs, tissues and corneas.
With integrity and compassion, our goal is to bridge the gap between donor families, health care providers and transplant recipients so that we may forever transform lives.