Prevent Blindness Northern California (PBNC), Recipient

Approximately 80% of a child's learning is visual. Imagine if that young child's vision is impaired and is unaware that his or her vision is suffering. In many cases, this lack of awareness imposes a significant toll on that child's learning. That's where Prevent Blindness Northern California (PBNC) comes to the rescue. PBNC trains and certifies teams of vision screeners who volunteer their time to provide free vision screening to over 22,000 preschool children per year.

The training and certification of vision screeners is just one of the five key strategies used by PBNC to carry out their mission to eliminate preventable blindness and preserve sight. The organization has trained over 20,000 volunteer screeners whose knowledge and compassion reaches children in communities across 48 counties in Northern California.

An estimated five to 10% of preschool-aged students suffer from some form of visual impairment and 72% of the children referred are diagnosed with a vision problem. Children's vision screening is not mandated for preschool-aged children, yet many vision problems are better treated during the preschool years. Given these statistics, the screeners know they are changing lives. To thank the screeners for their efforts, PBNC hosts an annual appreciation luncheon that provides the volunteers a chance to talk and exchange stories about the lives they have changed.

"Every year it is something our volunteers look forward to. They really enjoy the opportunity to meet other volunteers who do similar work in other counties," says Nicole Cal Rodriguez, PBNC development coordinator.

In 2011, a grant from 4imprint®'s one by one® program allowed the organization to show their gratitude by giving each volunteer a custom-imprinted PBNC 45th Anniversary coffee mug as a token of appreciation.

For more information about Prevent Blindness Northern California (PBNC), please visit
http://www.preventblindness.org/