A Holiday Letter to Our Grantees


Dear Lavelle Fund Grantee:

Let’s pause for a moment as we approach the end of this challenging year and reflect on what we’ve accomplished together.

“20/20” was supposed to be a “milestone year” for those of us in the vision field, a year designated to bring attention to vision health, services and messaging. Instead, we found ourselves challenged in ways that we never could have foreseen. Programs and services were suspended or cancelled, payrolls were jeopardized, schools and clinics closed and surgeries delayed. Everyone joined the mad scramble for PPE and PPP as the spread of the coronavirus wreaked havoc and global disruption.

Through it all, you maintained a “can do” spirit, exhibiting flexibility, creativity, fortitude and above all, dedication to your clients. You rose to the occasion, and you made us proud to be associated with you.

Thank you for all that you do for people who are blind or visually impaired. Thank you for not giving up, and thank you for “pivoting” so gracefully and effectively.

You all deserve to be praised for the work you did this year – and we’d like to spotlight some particular achievements in our grantee family. To our India-based grantees Aravind and L.V. Prasad, congratulations on winning the Greenberg Prize to End Blindness 2020. Congratulations as well to Himalayan Cataract Project for being highlighted as a top NGO in New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof’s Annual Holiday Gift Guide. Kudos to the school directors who worked so hard to ensure the safety and continuing education of blind and multiply disabled children, especially our friends in Latin America and right here in New York City. And applause for the vision screening team that succeeded in delivering over 4,000 pairs of made-to-order eyeglasses to New York school children at a time when there was no access to schools. And to all the agencies who devised ways to continue service delivery to their visually impaired clients – they and we are all in your debt. We want to acknowledge all of our grantees and the wonderful work you did this year.

We sincerely hope that 2021 is a better year, without this year’s many challenges. But if that turns out not to be the case, we’re confident that you will meet those challenges with the same resilience, fortitude, passion and grace with which you faced 2020. We are humbled to be in the same room with you, and we are proud to be able to support the valuable work that you do.

On behalf of the Board and staff of Lavelle Fund for the Blind, please accept our best wishes for a happy holiday season, and a safe, healthy, happy and COVID-free 2021.

Susan Olivo
Executive Director

Dan Callahan
Board President