The man on the phone had been laid off from his job and had no health insurance. He had managed to get some seasonal employment, but his rapidly developing cataracts made it impossible for him to perform the job.
Could we help him?
I explained that he would have to fill out our application, and meet our income guidelines.
"That's easy," he said. "I don't have any."
I could hear the desperation in his voice, and the frustration - here was a guy who wanted to work, wanted to support himself - and had run out of options.
We get these calls all the time. The teacher who can no longer see well enough to instruct her students. The telephone operator who can no longer hear callers. Losing one of these essential senses, often later in life, is traumatic. It cuts into people's self-esteem, restricting their ability to earn a living or interact with others.
Most of the time, we are able to help. That's because we have a group of donors who have made the commitment to support our work, restoring the gifts of sight and hearing to those who otherwise couldn't afford the treatment or the devices they need.
So as you gather with friends and family this holiday season, we're hoping you'll remember people like our caller, who need our help to restore their hope and resume their lives.
You can still donate easily through our website, at http://www.lshf.org/cash-donation.html.
We thank you for your generosity and wish you the happiest of holidays.