Have you ever wondered what life would be like if you didn’t have the gift of sight? If you could never enjoy the richness of a summer blue sky or the changing leaves in early fall? If you needed constant assistance from others to accomplish seemingly normal tasks?
Here in New Mexico this is the reality for many children. According to the American Foundation for the Blind, the latest data for the state of New Mexico shows that over 3,000 individuals under the age of 18 have visual loss. New Mexico School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (NMSBVI) has shown a great commitment to these children and their families, making education a priority.
NMSBVI is a specialized school that provides residential, academic, support and outreach services to students who are blind and visually impaired in New Mexico. Aside from its residential campus in Alamogordo, NMSBVI provides family/infant toddler support and a university preparation program. Additionally, NMSBVI operates a low vision clinic, a resource center that provides adapted materials and Braille throughout the state, and a preschool in Albuquerque.
Judge Leslie Smith and his wife Judy established the “Eye Glass Fund” through the Community Foundation in support of blind and visually impaired children that need new glasses.
Throughout the course of a year, many children lose their glasses or break them but their insurance won’t cover another pair. For low-income families, this could mean that their child will suffer until insurance eligibility allows for a replacement.
“When you can do something that is as simple and inexpensive as providing eyeglasses to help children who can’t see or have difficulty seeing, it’s a no brainer,” shared Judge Smith.
The Smith family has had a long-time interest in helping improve the lives of individuals who are blind or visually impaired. In fact, Judge Smith serves as Chair of the Eye Institute at Vanderbilt University, his alma mater, and his father spent his career as an ophthalmologist.
Establishing this fund seemed like a very simple solution to a child’s vision problems,” said Judge Smith.
Are you interested in supporting and growing the “Eye Glass Fund”? Your contribution can make the difference, in a single pair of glasses, to change a child’s life. For more information, contact us at 575-521-4794 or stop by our offices located at 2600 El Paseo Road.