Holiday Message from Lavelle Fund 2021


Dear Lavelle Fund Grantees, Colleagues and Friends:

If you had asked us in late 2020 to foretell a message for our 2021 “end of year letter,” we would have said that the tone would be upbeat – happy that the pandemic was far in our rear-view mirror, and happy that we had moved on to re-building from the “lost year of Covid.” Instead, we found ourselves facing more challenges – some old and familiar, and some new. There were highs (take the masks off!) and lows (put the masks back on!). We added new phrases to our everyday lexicon, like “supply chain” and “chip shortage.” Who knew? We went from a virus named after a beer (Corona) to a variant named after an airline (Delta), and have moved on to Omicron, which sounds like some kind of scary robot. (A bit of levity here….) Through it all, you maintained a spirit of perseverance, and you impressed us mightily with your positive attitudes, your truthfulness and your commitment to the work and to the people you serve.

There were bright spots in 2021, and we’ll mention just a few. We congratulate one of our newer grantees, Sense Internacional Perú, whose work with deaf-blind children garnered them a first-place award for “Inclusive Educational Services” from the Peruvian government’s National Council for the Integration of Persons with Disability. And congratulations to FUNDAL school in Guatemala on the successful and beautifully implemented launch of its inclusive online platform Tze’Nik, which will keep teachers, students and families connected during pandemic times and well into the future. Hats off to the amazing administration and staff of the Lavelle School for the Blind for successfully navigating the re-opening of the school, and for being a force for greater good in their community.

That is just a small sample culled from your collective good works. All of you are heroes in our book. You continue to shine your lights in the world – whether working on blindness prevention, rehabilitation services or education; whether serving infants, children or adults; whether working here in the U.S. or abroad, you impress us more and more each year. You work tirelessly to provide resources, help, medical care, surgeries, training, eyeglasses, jobs and internships, and access — and, truly, the list goes on and on.

We hope, again, that 2022 will be a better year. May we all continue to be strong and faithful in the work that we do, and “let us not grow weary in well-doing.”

On behalf of the Board and Staff of the Lavelle Fund for the Blind, please accept our sincere best wishes for a happy holiday season. Thank you for allowing us to be a small part of the valuable work you do. And may the joyous hope of this season carry us forward and through the next year, whatever it may bring.

Susan Olivo
Executive Director and CEO

Dr. Lou Pizzarello
Board Chair