Help Support a Job and Share The Vision This #GivingTuesday!

Giving Tuesday HOMEPAGE #1

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and so are Black Friday and Cyber Monday! All of this is followed by #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving observed by nonprofits all over the world. This year, #GivingTuesday will be on Tuesday, November 28, the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the United States.

For the third consecutive year, The Chicago Lighthouse is holding its #GivingTuesday campaign. Our theme this year is Support a Job, Share the Vision and our goal is to raise critical funds for The Lighthouse’s Endowment Campaign. Your support will ensure that future generations of people with disabilities and Veterans can continue receiving services from The Chicago Lighthouse for many years to come. Since its founding in 1906, the mission of The Chicago Lighthouse is to create jobs for people who are blind or visually impaired. We work tirelessly to provide individuals who have experienced vision loss with the tools and opportunities to become independent and productive members of society.

Now in its 40th year of operation, Chicago Lighthouse Industries  (which is a sister agency of The Chicago Lighthouse) has manufactured 6 million clocks! These clocks are sold to the federal government, as well as to state and municipal agencies. Recently, clocks also became available for purchase through Amazon and in select Target stores throughout the Chicago area. In addition to clocks, Chicago Lighthouse Industries also manufactures ergonomic products like footrests and monitor stands, as well as calendars, planners and thermometers. Approximately 85% of Chicago Lighthouse Industries employees are blind or visually impaired.

For years, people who are blind or visually impaired have experienced an extremely high unemployment rate of over 70 percent. Many companies are hesitant to hire workers with vision loss due to a lack of understanding and unfounded misconceptions.

“This number is not because people who are blind or visually impaired do not want to work or are lacking skills, but a lot of companies believe that if someone is blind or visually impaired, they are for some reason incapable of doing jobs other people can,” says Heidi Ashwell, director of operations at Chicago Lighthouse Industries.

For someone who is blind or visually impaired, having a job not only provides them with a sense of fulfillment, but it also gives them independence and confidence. This is something that everyone – whether blind or sighted – wants and deserves. Heidi also says that for Chicago Lighthouse Industries employees who are blind or visually impaired, working alongside others with vision loss provides them with a sense of camaraderie. Working at The Chicago Lighthouse has truly changed the lives of these individuals!

“Our workers really appreciate what they have, being able to have a job and being able to support their families,” Heidi says.

With your support this #GivingTuesday, The Chicago Lighthouse will be able to provide people who are blind or visually impaired with the necessary tools and skills that will allow them to become independent and self-sufficient. Our talented employees like Mike and Nick can continue to find, obtain and keep meaningful employment now and in the future. Please click under their names to access their #GivingTuesday testimonials.

Best of all, your generous gift will have double the impact this year thanks to a generous challenge from Chicago Lighthouse Board Member Larry and Susanne Broutman and long-time donors Fred and Sarah. They will match every donated dollar up to $75,000.

Please help us change lives by supporting The Chicago Lighthouse this #GivingTuesday! There are three ways to donate:

  • Donate online at
  • By mail: send donations payable to The Chicago Lighthouse at 1850 W. Roosevelt Rd. Chicago, IL 60608. Mark to the attention of #GivingTuesday.
  • Call 312-997-3668.

You can also find out more about The Chicago Lighthouse and our #GivingTuesday campaign by following and liking us on FacebookTwitterInstagram and LinkedIn. On behalf of the Sandy’s View team and everyone at The Chicago Lighthouse, thank you so much for your generosity!

We also wish you all a very happy holiday season!


Happy Giving Tuesday!

Today is Giving Tuesday, the perfect occasion to celebrate giving and generosity. Those of us in the United States celebrated our gratitude last Thursday, and perhaps even got started on our holiday shopping during the weekend. Giving Tuesday presents us with the opportunity to give to those around us by donating money, time or doing simple acts of kindness.


Now in its fourth year, Giving Tuesday celebrates and encourages charitable giving and generosity through social media. Although the observance is relatively new, it has already made a huge impact across the world. In 2014, $30 million were raised in online donations. Today, over 30 thousand organizations and businesses from 68 countries participate in Giving Tuesday. These include nonprofits, small businesses, government agencies and major corporations. Last year, over 40 civic campaigns took place in the United States to encourage the observance of this day. Also in 2014, 15.4 billion impressions were made worldwide in print and social media.


To me, the beauty of #GivingTuesday is that it encourages all forms of giving. You can donate money to a local or favorite nonprofit organization, or simply donate your time to volunteer in your community. This is a global movement, and we all can participate regardless of where we are in the world. By simply spreading the word and encouraging your family and friends to contribute with a small monetary gift or their time, you are already making a difference in the lives of others.


As you might be aware, the Chicago Lighthouse has kicked off its first #GivingTuesday campaign, which aims to raise $30,000 through online donations to support our various programs serving children and senior citizens. Under the motto “My Vision Is…,” the #CLHgivingtuesday campaign showcases several Chicago Lighthouse participants, who share their dreams, or vision, for the future and for  their lives. If you would like to make a contribution to the Chicago Lighthouse, you can find more information about our campaign on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #CLHgivingtuesday or by clicking here.


I encourage you to participate in Giving Tuesday in any way you prefer. Regardless of the cause or organization you support, you will feel good about giving or simply sharing your time and talents with others. The holiday season is here, and what better way to celebrate than by giving to those in need. Happy #GivingTuesday!

My Vision Is…

A few weeks ago we announced our first ever participation in #GivingTuesday, a day dedicated to giving back to organizations making a difference in our communities. This year, #GivingTuesday will be observed on Tuesday, December 1, following Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the United States. Under the motto “My Vision Is…,” the #CLHgivingtuesday campaign will showcase several Chicago Lighthouse participants, who will share their dreams, or vision, for the future. We hope to raise funds through online donations so that current and prospective program participants will receive the vision care and adaptive devices they need to reach their goals and vision.


The Chicago Lighthouse is a world-renowned social service organization serving the blind, visually impaired, disabled and Veteran communities with comprehensive vision care and support services. With 110 years of experience serving those with vision loss, we understand what it takes to respond to their needs with expertise and compassion. Each year, the Chicago Lighthouse provides $1.5 million in unreimbursed services to our clients. Much of this care is provided to individuals who receive support for only a portion of the vision care they need. Two populations of the Lighthouse community especially in need of this support are children and seniors.


How vision helps children realize their vision…


  • 80% of learning in a child’s first 12 years comes through their eyes, yet 25% of all school children in the U.S. have a vision problem significant enough to affect their learning
  • Up to 85% of academically and behaviorally at-risk children ages 8 through 18 had vision problems that were either undetected or untreated


We can make a difference by providing eye exams and glasses…


  • 90% of children who need glasses do not have them
  • Early exams and treatment can stop bigger problems from arising down the road and can detect vision issues that could impair eyesight for life, if left undetected or untreated


How vision helps seniors realize their vision…


  • While most seniors’ eye exams are reimbursed by insurance coverage, the cost of glasses or other needed vision devices are not covered by insurance
  • The average pair of corrective glasses is $400, while assistive devices can range in price from $60 for a hand-held magnifier to over $3,000 for a CCTV or a screen reader


By offering a variety of programs and services, the Chicago Lighthouse helps everyone realize their vision. Here are just a few of the ways in which we make that possible:


  • Our education programs serve children who are blind, visually impaired or have additional disabilities. In addition, our preschool is a blended setting where disabled and non-disabled children are integrated. The early intervention program serves children ages birth to three who are blind or visually impaired.
  • The Illinois Instructional Materials Center provides blind or visually impaired students throughout Illinois with Braille and large print textbooks and adaptive technology.
  • Our low vision clinic offers diagnostic and rehabilitation services to maximize the remaining vision of those with significant vision loss.
  • Our Adaptive Technology Center provides blind and visually impaired people access to computers with magnification adaptations and other technologies, as well as full assistance in how to use them.


In other words, the Chicago Lighthouse allows people to realize their vision in all sorts of ways. Thanks to these services, a child will one day realize his vision of becoming a doctor, and a senior citizen will have access to assistive devices that will allow her to have fun with her grandchildren.


We encourage everyone to join us on #GivingTuesday at #CLHgivingtuesday and helping by making a donation or simply spreading the word. December is the time of year when many focus on holiday and end-of-year giving, and your gift to the Chicago Lighthouse will help those with vision loss live a more independent and fulfilling life. Stay tuned to our Facebook and Twitter pages on Tuesday, December 1 for more information on how you can get involved and make your donation. Also, please check out the video in this post to find out what my vision is. What is your vision?