Kimm Parker wanted to create a lasting imprint in the lives of others – and she knew she could do that through Seva and restoring sight.
After receiving her graduate degree in social work, this Southern California native spent her career in community work, clinics, and eventually her own practice. “I like the idea that if you give $50, someone in Nepal who needs eye surgery can get it. This direct exchange was like magic to me,” she shared.
“Like many folks, I first learned about Seva back in the late 80s through Ram Dass. I was looking for a service organization whose work expressed my understanding of the Buddhist concept of Right Action. I appreciated the variety of projects and range of people that Seva benefited. I found the gift-giving of donations a wonderful way to spread its work among my family and friends, especially as several struggled with vision problems themselves, and I knew they would relate to the difference it was making in many people’s lives! Since my partner died a few months ago, leaving no will, it has been very challenging to settle her affairs, so I knew that I had to stop procrastinating on updating my own. FreeWill.com has guided me through doing this in a way that is easy, comprehensive and reassuring!”
Safety and quality of care are at the center of everything we do. Our partner, Dr. Samina Zamindar in Bangalore, India, recently opened the doors of her private practice to welcome 11 colleagues from Seva partner institutes for a series of safety and quality initiatives.
This joint program, called Observe, Understand, and Change, educated hospital teams with practical skills to adopt standard operative procedures to improve quality at a grassroots level, avoid medical errors, and make incident reporting a regular standard in medical settings. Two days of intensive group discussions were followed by three days of observation in their area of interest.
If you’ve ever wondered about our vibrant history, the people, ideas and solutions that make the magic of restoring sight possible, and all those untold “Seva stories” you heard through the grapevine – look no further! We dug through 40+ years of rich Seva archives, asked our teams around the world, and are here to give you that exclusive, behind-the-scenes look.
Our recently-published report, entitled ‘The Economic and Social Cost of Blindness in India,’ uncovers the cost of vision impairment and the significant need for sustainable eye care. It also shares the solutions we are pioneering in this country. The key takeaway was that India is home to approximately 34 million people who live with blindness or moderate/severe vision impairment, costing the country US $54.4 billion each year.
Travel to Humla is an uphill and challenging journey. This remote Himalayan district in Nepal has no surface roads. It takes weeks to reach on foot from the nearest municipality. Shortage of food is also pervasive – many rely on rice transported from the Government to subsidize. As such, communities here have historically faced greater challenges in accessing education, employment, and healthcare facilities – including eye care.
And where there’s a need for sight, our team will arrive!
Led by Ram Prasad Kandel, Seva’s Program Director in Nepal, we completed a week-long trip to support two surgical eye camps & the establishment of a new Vision Center in the area. He documented the journey in his journal and wanted to share the following pages with you. In his own words, “Honestly, we cried – seven people were blind and one was blind for the past five years. It was the first time they had an eye camp there.”
Time, for a child, seems to stand still – especially when waiting for a much-anticipated surprise. For adults, it is another story. Have you ever thought, “I wish time would speed up”?
Planning for the future is key, and at Seva we are looking ahead, planning, and investing in a brighter future for all. That is why we invest your support in self-sustaining eye care solutions that will benefit a community for generations to come. Seva believes everyone deserves access to health resources. And this month, there is a renewed importance to this message as we recognize August as National Make-A-Will-Month!
This month, I invite you to join thousands of others around the country to create a legacy that lasts a lifetime. Seva has partnered with FreeWill to offer a free estate planning tool for our supporters. This easy-to-use tool allows you to create a will or Living Trust to protect your loved ones and provide a brighter future to millions in need by preserving and restoring sight through Seva’s programs. Make-a-will, make-a-difference!
Why create an estate plan, you ask?
It’s essential. Everyone needs a will, and creating one can help you exercise agency over the important decisions in life and protect the people you care about.
It’s your legacy. Your will is your opportunity to define your legacy on your own terms and create a lasting impact.
It lets you transform lives. FreeWill makes it simple to include Seva in your estate plan – all without paying a single cent today. Your legacy gift ensures that underserved communities receive vital eye care, treatment, and medicine now & far into the future.
Investing in Seva is investing in self-sustaining eye care programs that enable communities to thrive for years to come. I’d be honored if you joined this legacy and the many Seva supporters who choose to leave planned gifts. Watch the video below for more information on how to use FreeWill to meet your estate planning needs, and I invite you to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
When you think of Native American communities across the United States, what image comes to mind? For many, it is often the picture shown here, portrayed in the media, or in old western movies, but, what we often miss is that true Native beauty is vibrant, diverse, and endless!
My name is Jennifer Leo, and while this is the first time I’m writing to you, I’ve been with Seva for the last year as the Program Officer of our American Indian Sight Initiative. As a proud member of the San Carlos Apache Tribe, I work hand-in-hand with Native partners to assess their unique needs and co-create solutions that strengthen our communities.
As a Native person, I have encountered many myths about Native communities. But, I want to help flip the lens. Let’s dig a bit deeper, and let me share a side of Native communities not often portrayed – the true beauty, joy, and even struggles we face. Come along to meet some of the partners you support, and who knows, you might even learn something new!
Even though we have never met, you & I are connected.
It may seem hard to believe, with so much that separates us. Your story may have started in a different place than mine, at a different time from mine, with different characters and plots. But, at this moment our paths meet.
This connection among all people is something I learned from my dad. As a little girl and a proud member of the San Carlos Apache Tribe, I remember my dad telling me stories. Sometimes they were about himself. Sometimes they were about my aunties, or my grandfather. And, sometimes they were about my ancestors from long ago. I remember he told me about a time my grandmother had no food to feed him for dinner. So, she washed him, and wrapped him in a blanket and sang him to sleep, to take his mind off his empty stomach.
I grew up hearing these stories, learning the details of lives of people I had never met. One day, my dad took me to a mesa, and he said, “Do you know why I tell you all of these stories?” I shook my head no. And he said, “Until today, when you looked in the mirror, you have seen only yourself. After today, – you will see all of us, looking back at you.”