Black Friday. Cyber Monday.

November 27th, 2018

Saving Sight has joined #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving that harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities and organizations to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide.

Occurring this year on November 27th, #GivingTuesday is held annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday. #GivingTuesday kicks off the holiday giving season, inspiring people to collaborate in improving their local communities and to give back in impactful ways to support the causes they believe in.

Help us change lives by saving sight with a gift on Tuesday, November, 27th and share your giving story on social media with #GivingTuesday



Show others why you support Saving Sight on #GivingTuesday with a #UNselfie

Share an #UNselfie & Inspire Others to Give

Show others in your social media networks why you support Saving Sight by taking an #UNselfie. The #UNselfie or selfless selfie is a powerful way to show how you choose to give and why that cause is important to you.

Download and print the #GivingTuesday sign and write why you support Saving Sight. You can also mark it on your phone or tablet. Then, take a photo with the sign and post to your social media networks. Tag @WeSaveSight on Facebook or @WeSaveSight on Twitter, use the hashtags #UNselfie and #GivingTuesday and link to our giving page saving-sight.org/giving-tuesday-donation.



Happy Holidays from Saving Sight – 2017

Happy Holidays from Saving Sight – 2017

Happy Holidays from Saving Sight

Pam smiling in a snowman holiday sweater.

Pam captured these beautiful winter scenes at her country home in Missouri as our 2017 featured holiday artist.

Pam captured these beautiful winter scenes at her country home in Missouri as our 2017 featured holiday artist.

Thanks to our staff, partners, volunteers and supporters of our work in eye donation, more corneal recipients like Pam are able to enjoy the twinkling holiday lights and watch the first snowfall of the season. And more donor families are able to find comfort in their loved one’s legacy living on through the gift of sight in 2017.

We wish you a bright holiday season and look forward to our continued work in the new year. Happy Holidays, from all of us at Saving Sight!

About the Artist

Thanks to the generosity of an eye donor, Pam was able to correct her vision through the gift of sight. “My vision kept getting dimmer and dimmer and glasses just didn’t fix it,” said Pam. “We realized through several tests that it was Fuch’s dystrophy.”

After her corneal transplant, Pam chose to write her donor family to thank them for their kindness. “Families have felt such a loss but they have helped other people,” said Pam. “I knew they had suffered a loss and just wanted them to know we appreciated the gift. It’s not just that the donor gave but the family accepted and followed through with their wishes.”

Today, Pam has regained her active lifestyle exploring the outdoors and gardening. She and her husband are avid birdwatchers and she is able to see the fine details in feathers and coloring she was missing before her transplant. Pam has regained her independence, driving with confidence again and seeing details when grocery shopping, watching television, reading menus in restaurants and even beading her holiday Christmas balls. More than anything, Pam is able to watch and keep up with her 6 active grandchildren and see the world as they see it now.

“As my vision becomes clearer and clearer, I realize that I had forgotten how bright and colorful our world is and I appreciate and love every second of it,” says Pam.

Geese on an icy pond surrounded by snow and trees in Missouri.

Pam captured these beautiful winter scenes at her country home in Missouri.



Saving Sight Partners with Community to Increase Donor Designation

Saving Sight Partners with Community to Increase Donor Designation

Saving Sight, Donate Life Team Illinois, Life Goes On and Mid-America Transplant at the Cardinals/Cubs baseball game on September 13.

Saving Sight, Donate Life Team Illinois, Life Goes On and Mid-America Transplant at the Cardinals/Cubs baseball game on September 13.

Saving Sight partners with local community events, health fairs and hospitals to increase donor designation through local donor designation drives. While 95 percent of Americans are in favor of being a donor, only 52 percent are registered. Donor designation drives help bridge the gap and allow Saving Sight to educate individuals about eye, organ and tissue donation and provide the community with resources to make the best decision for themselves and their family in regards to donation. In September, Saving Sight held several of these events throughout our service area. 

Saving Sight teamed up with the Kansas Lions Sight Foundation to have a booth at the Kansas State Fair September 9-18. Saving Sight’s Hutchinson, Kan. office staff Heather Britain, Amber Simmons and Samantha Christenson took turns during the 10 days of the fair, along with local Lions Club volunteers, to man the booth that was part of the Lions Mobile Screening Unit. “What we as staff enjoyed the most was getting to talk to recipients and their families, donor families and even a transplant surgeon about all the positive things about donation they have encountered,” said Heather Britain, partner relations coordinator. 

At the Washington County Memorial Hospital 22nd Annual Washington Health Fair on September 10 Richard Hamilton, partner relations coordinator for Saving Sight, raised awareness about Saving Sight and the community vision programs we offer and educated attendees on the importance of eye, organ and tissue donation. 

Amber Simmons with Saving Sight speaks with a gentleman at the Kansas State Fair about donor designation.Amber Simmons with Saving Sight speaks with a gentleman at the Kansas State Fair about donor designation. Saving Sight also joined Donate Life Team Illinois, Mid-America Transplant and Life Goes On at a donor designation drive at the Cardinals and Cubs game on September 13 to educate and increase donor designation with baseball fans. In addition to the organizations being represented, a heart transplant recipient, a donor mother and a kidney recipient also volunteered to speak with those who approached the booth, sparking conversation and questions among attendees. 

Hosting donor designation drives at these different events helps educate those in different population groups throughout our service area and allows us to work with groups who have similar missions for promoting the positive impact of organ donation. 

Nationally, nearly 120,000 men, women and children are awaiting organ transplants and each organ donor has the potential to save up to 8 lives and enhance the lives of up to 50 people. You can join the millions of Americans who have registered to be donors by signing up at registerme.org. Visit donatelife.net for resources to help spread the Donate Life message or to learn how you can host an event to register donors in your community.


Active Family Man Carries on his Legacy in Helping Others

Active Family Man Carries on his Legacy in Helping Others

Rick was an active family man who continued to give in death as an eye donor.

Rick enjoyed having a good time in all he did. He was also a good steward and gave his time freely to help others and loved spending time with his wife, children and grandchild. Rick lived an active lifestyle, was a gifted craftsman and an excellent athlete. He had given up basketball the year prior when he had heart surgery, but continued to play volleyball and golf until he passed away at age 61. Rick was a sports car enthusiast, an active deacon and church youth leader, and had served in the Missouri Army National Guard.

“He’s just a great guy gone way too soon,” said his wife Theresa.

Rick passed away of a heart attack during a volleyball game in 2014. “It was very hard on his teammates – they performed CPR – but I was very thankful he was not by himself,” said Theresa. Because living an active lifestyle was so important to Rick, he and his wife had talked about organ donation and end-of-life-care.

“While in shock and coming to grips that terrible night, there wasn’t a doubt that we were going to do the organ donation,” said Theresa. She and Rick were both blood donors and registered organ donors; they believed in giving what they could to help others. “It’s good to have those conversations, even though they’re not fun,” said Theresa. “You’re just so totally lost and in shock, but having some direction

Rick and Theresa share the belief in giving what they can to help others.

about what you’ve talked about gives you confidence in making these tough decisions.”

Theresa said some people might not understand the immediacy of the questions about donation. Hospital staff, the funeral home director and Saving Sight all explained the process and made the difficult situation as positive as it could be. It was impactful for her that Rick was able to help people until the very end with his gift of life.

Being able to donate his corneas meant a lot to Theresa because Rick had prided himself on his excellent eyesight compared to her needing strong corrective lenses. Because of Saving Sight’s correspondence program, Theresa knows Rick’s cornea was able to help a nurse regain her vision.

“It just helps me as I transition to life without him – it helps me know that I honored a wish of his,” said Theresa. Both of their children are nurses as well. Knowing their father’s recipient was a nurse resonated with them and reinforced to Theresa that it was a ‘meant-to-be kind of thing.’

Theresa said individuals thinking about joining the donor registry need to personally evaluate if that’s the right decision for them within their belief system. If it is, they need to be able to communicate that to their next-of-kin so it’s not a surprise when handling end-of-life-care. “That’s what I can really recommend – communicate. Death is hard enough, but when there’s surprises, that can be a challenge,” said Theresa.

Join the millions of Americans who have signed up for the donor registry by signing up online at registerme.org or at your local Department of Motor Vehicles office. And be sure to share your decision to be an eye, organ and tissue donor with your family and friends.

Saving Sight Volunteers Promote Donor Designation at State Fair

Connie and Lion Gerry encourage donor designation at the Missouri State Fair.

Saving Sight volunteers teamed up with the Governor’s Organ Donation Advisory Committee and Donate Life Missouri to raise awareness of organ and tissue donation at this year’s Missouri State Fair. Over six days at the State Fair, a total of thirty-eight volunteers talked with potential donors and those already on the registry to promote a supportive culture of the life-saving power of organ donation.

PDG Lion Jene of the Marshall Lions and Lion Gerry of the Forsyth Lions volunteered at the event on behalf of Saving Sight. Past organ recipient Ruthie and Gayle  also represented Saving Sight at the State Fair Donate Life booth.

Approximately 122,000 Americans of all ages are currently awaiting organ transplants in the United States. One organ donor has the ability to save up to 8 lives.

“Organ donation is a selfless gift to help enhance another’s life,” Lion Gerry said. “Volunteering was enriching as I had the opportunity to meet people who had first-hand experience in organ donation. Donor families who came to the booth told of relatives who had become donors and the good feelings they had knowing a precious gift was made so someone else could continue life.”

You can make a difference! Join Missouri’s organ and tissue donor registry today by visiting missouriorgandonor.com.

Celebrate National Eye Donor Month 2015

Americans will receive approximately 48,000 cornea transplant surgeries this year to preserve or restore their vision. With healthy vision, these people will be able to lead joyful, independent lives. March is National Eye Donor Month, so Saving Sight encourages you to pledge to be a donor through the donor registry and to speak with your family about your decision.

It starts with you. Thanks to the generosity of eye donors, their families and supportive hospital staff, Saving Sight was able to provide donated eye tissue for 2,985 corneal transplants in 2014, an average of 8 people per day. During National Eye Donor Month, Saving Sight honors donors and encourages you to join our mission:

  • Learn more about eye donation on our website.
  • Pledge to be an eye, organ, and tissue donor on the donor registry online or at your local motor vehicles office.
  • Speak with family and friends about your choice to donate.
  • Celebrate National Eye Donor Month on your social media account(s) using NEDM  images we’ve provided.

According to the Eye Bank Association of America, “over 95 percent of all corneal transplant operations successfully restore the corneal recipient’s vision.” So eye donors have an incredible impact on the lives of recipients, often relieving pain and reviving independence. In fact, a recent study coordinated by the EBAA found that corneal transplants in the U.S., by enabling people to resume employment and lead healthy lives, offer a total lifetime net benefit of nearly $6 billion. “The EBAA’s study does a great job of illustrating that eye donors not only give the gift of sight to recipients but they also enhance prosperity in our communities,” said Tony Bavuso, chief executive officer of Saving Sight.

On behalf of the 2,985 people who received the healing gift of sight in 2014, Saving Sight thanks you for your support during National Eye Donor Month. Sign up today donatelife.net. You can join us and the millions of Americans who have pledged to be donors by signing up for your state’s eye, organ, and tissue donor registry today at the Donate Life America website or your local motor vehicles office. Together, we are saving sight.