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Gift of Sight

December 2004
Gift of Sight

Youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow. Yasmeen Assar with her dedication for helping the society proves that if there is a desire to succeed, avenues are abundant.

Yasmeen could not imagine what it would be like not to have glasses to see or to read because a person cannot afford to buy glasses. To help the underprivileged for whom owning a pair of eye glasses is a luxury, she has launched a community service project in partnership with Georgia Lions Club, `Gift of Sight' in 2004. The aim of this project is to foster sight conservation and restoration. "I began collecting used prescription eyeglasses, frames, broken frames, lenses, sunglasses, and reading glasses. The pleasure to serve and make a difference in someone's life is very rewarding and fulfilling" recounts her.

Collected glasses are donated to Georgia Lions Lighthouse for the Blinds. So far she has collected over 875 pairs of eyeglasses, cases and frames and the numbers are rising on a daily basis with the support of some ophthalmologists, family friends, business friends and neighbors. If the glasses are badly scratched or the frames are broken, they are recycled for their metal content and the money is used for sight services in Georgia. Yasmeen's goal is to collect 5,000 glasses before she finishes her high school years.

Prior to starting the A Gift of Sight Project, Yasmin was active in the Girl Scouts, the Atlanta Red Cross Youth Council, the Volunteer Program at Eastside Hospital, and the Georgia Mutual Assistance Association Consortium. She has been recognized as an American Red Cross Hero in the local newspaper in 2002. Active at school, she plays cello in the Orchestra, is a member of the math team and is an associate of the Mock Trial Club. Last year she served as the volunteer tutor and mentor in an after school programmed for refugee children from countries like Sudan and Somalia. Yasmeen's ambition is to become a criminal lawyer and keeping in mind her track record of helping the needy, legal aid at minimum cost is in the offing.

Swati Bajpai

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