Community News

NSW North Coast helps to transform lives through $539,840 in generous support

cvi   As the financial year comes to an end I am touching base from The Fred Hollows Foundation to let you know the NSW North Coast has helped to transform lives through $539,840 in generous support. If Fred Hollows was alive today he would be giving a heartfelt thanks to the people of the New South Wales North Coast for digging deep and donating more than $539,000 this year to help restore the sight of up to 21,593 people. The Foundation’s Director of Public Affairs Nick Martin said that without the generous support of the Australian community, millions of people would be blind from avoidable conditions. “Thank you to the generous people of the North Coast who are helping to keep Fred’s dream alive. Every dollar counts and as little as $25 can help restore sight to someone who may have given up hope,” Mr Martin said. “More than 32 million people worldwide are blind and it’s a shocking fact that four out of five of those people don’t need to be. There are many more people who need our help and we can only do this with the help of the Australian people.” One person who did not give up hope was Juliette, whose seven-year-old son Leonides had been blind for two years with cataracts. Childhood blindness can be a death sentence in countries like Burundi, with little or no access to medical or eye health care. Thanks to the devotion of his mother, who trekked all day to get to a clinic, and the generosity of donors to The Fred Hollows Foundation, little Leo was able to have the life-changing cataract surgery from Dr Levi, the only paediatric eye doctor in the whole country. Before the operation Leo spent most of his days indoors, all he wanted was to play outside with the other children. Leo and his mother returned to their village to whoops of joy, clapping and singing as Leo kicked a football to show off his perfect version. “As the financial year comes to an end, The Fred Hollows Foundation is asking people from the North Coast to make a donation that could transform the life of someone like Leo who is living with avoidable blindness,” Mr Martin said. In 2015 The Foundation: • Performed 890,066 eye operations and treatments • Treated more than eight million people across the world for trachoma. • Trained more than 64,000 surgeons, community health workers and teachers • Provided eye health education to over 3.7 million school children and community members • Built, renovated or upgraded 110 medical facilities. • Delivered $2.4 million worth of medical equipment. • Provided services to more than 15,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Statistics reveal June 30 is traditionally the most popular day of the year to donate to charity.