Stories of Impact

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Put A Little Love In Your Heart

Put A Little Love In Your Heart September 2022 Newsletter-min

Message From The President, Ozzy Samad

It was a near perfect evening earlier this spring as we sat down for dinner. The restaurant in a leafy Washington D.C. neighborhood was a few blocks from our son Harris’ graduate school and the occasion was a 2-year Covid-19 delayed celebratory graduation dinner. Looking up from the menu I glanced around to see (as the song goes) fancy people go driftin’ by, and sitting in this seemingly idyllic place, couldn’t help but think about the millions who did not know where their next meal was coming from – or if it was coming at all. Harris glanced at me with a knowing look. I knew he was thinking the same thing. How could there still be such disparities in world? And given her sense of social responsibility and already being a BBF donor, our daughter Marina too was right alongside.

But this is not about our children, it’s about you and the next generation of BBF supporters. It’s about the difference you make and the difference your donations allow us to make in the lives of so many. It is also what helps us to keep a positive attitude in the face of widespread adversity and inequities, where BBF employees such as Kaitlyn Nuebel and Tayler Hutton speak excitedly about activities that they are planning for children at our next vision and diabetes screening mobile clinic at a local Community Day event. Speaking of…

A few days after this year’s summer solstice, BBF, Project Theia, Mission Vision, and AHN/Highmark Wholecare, collaborated to hold our first Mobile Clinic in the storied steel town of Braddock, PA. It was the culmination of months of preparation which began with acquiring and modifying a Dodge ProMaster van to mimic an ophthalmologist’s office, and then equipping it with the appropriate equipment – a somewhat challenging task with today’s Covid related supply chain issues. Dr. Jenny Yu and Nurses Rachel Young and Kathy Sedory from Project-Theia generously gave of their time and conducted vision and blood pressure screenings for patients. Mission Vision’s Terry Snyder offered free glasses to those in need and our relationship with AHN/Highmark provided an avenue for continuity of care at their Community Clinic facility run by Dr. Stephanie Miller.

The appreciation on patients’ faces brought forth clearly the reason for our work. It was also a reminder of how the caring and generosity of one family in setting an example of giving for their own children, funded a project that will make a difference in the lives of so many in our underserved communities. Our plan is to expand the program to address challenges faced by the youngest in our midst. How many of whom for example, may have been diagnosed as having learning disabilities whereas all they might need is a simple pair of glasses.

Our commitment to the mobile clinic program at large and specifically in assisting with the wellbeing of children is absolute. Alongside you, it is they who will one day help make a better tomorrow and take on the mantle of being the next generation of BBF supporters.

And hence came the title of this article, a Jackie DeShannon song which had been reverberating through my head for some time now, Think of your fellow man, Lend him a helping hand, Put a Little Love in Your Heart… Take a good look around, And if you’re looking down, Put a little love in your heart.

And the world, Will be a better place…