Global Glasses gives the gift of sight

Four PHUHS students create a student community service project for FBLA.


Courtesy of Mackenzie Mills

After school at Panera, Sofia John (’19) works with her partners on their community service project to come up with fundraiser ideas.

Erin Behrmann, Staff Reporter

Making a difference from the Palm Harbor area to several other countries all over the world, just by collecting glasses. Emma Behrmann (‘20) , Mackenzie Mills (‘20), Riya Patel (‘19), and Sofia John (‘19) are doing a drive from Dec. 4 to Jan. 18.

The project consists of donating reading glasses and sunglasses to International Medical Relief (IMR), and then the organization will send the donations to people in other countries that need these glasses.

The four girls hope to collect as many glasses as possible and have even gotten elementary schools involved. To make an impact, they need to raise awareness to their peers.

“I’m helping with organization, and spreading the word about our project to teachers and students at PHUHS. We need to do this in order to reach our goal of collecting loads of glasses,” Mills said.

The meaning behind the project is not just to win at the FBLA state or national competitions, but it is to help improve the world by giving people the chance to see. The true meaning is to help people around the world prevent visual impairments.

“80% of visual impairment is preventable. With the Global Glasses Initiative we hope to serve the underserved around the world,” John said.

Underdeveloped countries are dependent upon agriculture. When farmers are farming without protective eye gear, dirt and dust can get into the farmer’s eyes. A build-up of this dirt over time can cause pterygiums, or benign tumors in the eye, causing visual impairment or blindness.

Behind this project and service to the global community is several meetings and hours of planning. In order to collect glasses, raise money for shipping, and to execute a 15 page report, meetings are necessary.

“We meet on Fridays in Mr. Schachter’s room to discuss our project and how it is improving, and how we could fix somethings. We also meet outside of school and plan how we are going to fundraise and talk about how we can get the word out,” Patel said.

To help the Global Glasses Initiative drive, donate somewhat used or new, reading glasses and sunglasses into boxes that are displayed throughout multiple classrooms, such as 11-201, 4-115, and the front office. Help prevent visual impairments for people all over the world today.