Dear Lavelle Fund Grantees, Colleagues and Friends:
Yes, the holiday season can be hectic — there’s a lot to do in wrapping up one year and prepping for the next. But it can also provide opportunities to reflect and give thanks. And thankful we are!
January 2022 seems so long ago now, yet the year seems to have flown by. In the words of C.S. Lewis, “Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back, everything is different…” Different indeed! In late 2020 and even 2021, we were looking forward to a “return to normal,” but now realize that ship has sailed. The new normal is here — and that keeps changing! Thank goodness we survived the toilet paper shortage, but where’s the baby formula, cream cheese and Sriracha sauce? (I’m so glad it wasn’t Frank’s hot sauce; I put that stuff on everything!)
But there’s no shortage of talent, passion and commitment in this, our field. We at the Lavelle Fund are thankful to be in this extraordinary company. We remain impressed and humbled by the work that you do, day in and day out, as you continue to offer services worldwide to blind and visually impaired children and adults — providing education support, rehabilitation services, vision care, eyeglasses, surgeries and surgical training, professional training, adaptive technology, and adaptive sports, vocational training and transition services, mental health services, comprehensive eye care, low vision support services, music education, guide dogs and much, much more. Together we have collectively and effectively served millions of people worldwide.
We salute you! Each and every one of you — our long-time grantees, and those just joining us in 2022. Thank you — those who continue to push out the “tried and true” services and those of you who help us innovate and move the field forward.
A special thank you to the educational and institutional leaders who are over-worked but under-staffed, under-resourced, under-paid, under-funded, and under the proverbial gun to deliver miracles. Please know that you are not under-appreciated!
We realize that you may have been tempted to join the “great resignation” wave — and who could blame you? But you continue to come to work each day and are an inspiration to all of us. In this season of miracles, we know that you are also miracle-workers. Not magicians pulling rabbits out of hats, but rather, stretching your loaves and fishes as far as they will go to provide much-needed services and to give help and hope to people with diminished eyesight.
If it is true that “what is essential is invisible to the eyes,” and that “it is only with the heart that one can see rightly,” (Saint-Exupéry), we thank you for embodying that spirit in your work. Whatever motivates you to continue to show up with your best self each day, may God give you more of it in 2023.
As always, thank you for allowing us to be a small part of the great work that you do. On behalf of the Board and Staff of the Lavelle Fund, please accept our best wishes for a happy holiday season and a safe, healthy and happy new year.