2018 has been an exceptional year so far — a year of reflection and celebration for Northeast Sight Services’ 100 years of service – and it’s not even at the halfway point. Not many organizations can say they’ve been around for a century.
We’re one of the lucky ones.
Imagine … in the year 1918, a woman, Arline Phillips, who was completely blind herself, led a movement to create an organization that would advocate and create opportunities for those who were blind and visually impaired in our local community. Uncommon now and unheard of then.
For decades as the Greater Wilkes-Barre Association for the Blind, the agency had its share of major organizational changes and shifts.
Always staying relevant to the changing needs of the blind and visually impaired population, the agency added more staff, increased programming and scope of services, and moved to a wonderful location in Exeter. This was on top of changing its service area to include Wyoming County, Wayne County, and Pike County, in addition to Luzerne County. And now we’ve changed our name to Northeast Sight Services to better reflect the true range of services offered as we enter this new century of service.
It’s taken true leadership and drive to make all of that happen – and so much more – over these many years. We are so incredibly proud of this organization and its long history of service to our community – our staff and volunteers are both humbled and proud to represent the organization in the way it deserves during its centennial year. Mostly because we want to be here for another 100 years.
On a daily basis, we are reminded of the need for our services. From providing low cost eyeglasses to someone in need to discovering an eye condition in a child during one of our vision screenings, we could not do this work without the support of our community.
So, we have challenged that community through our 2018 Centennial Challenge to help us reach a $100,000 goal in order to be here for another 100 years.
We have been blessed with gifts from five incredibly generous donors totaling $100,000 to be matched through new gifts, in order to raise additional funding for our endowment. This money is invested and part of which is used to fund needed local services that we provide.
We encourage … no wait – we CHALLENGE you to support our organization – whether you have in the past or not – to help us reach this incredible, yet achievable goal. To think far beyond our time and place – and make choices that will affect those 100 years from now, much like Arline Philips when she first founded our organization.
If you would like to support with a gift, however big or small (every amount makes a difference), to help us sustain and evolve our mission into the century, please contact us at 570-693-3555, www.northeastsight.org, or 1825 Wyoming Avenue, Exeter, PA 18643.
Sara Gorgone Peperno is the president and CEO of Northeast Sight Services. She contributes a monthly column to the Times Leader.