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I’ve been working at Helen Keller International in the Operations department at headquarters since 2010, where my main responsibility has been making sure the office runs like a well-oiled machine on a day to day basis.  I’ve often wondered what difference I am making in the lives of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged if my job consists of handling paper jams, dealing with vendors, and trying to find the right temperature in the office. I’m nowhere near the countries where the need is so great—I’m here in an office!

“Life is an exciting business and most exciting when lived for other people.”

Helen Keller

However, I ended up not having to look very far. The US Vision Program often gets calls from concerned parents whose calls are unable to be answered because the team is out in the field screening other children in the city. As a result, I have been able to take calls from parents and answer their concerns, and for some of the parents, me being able to speak to them in Spanish was a huge plus.

One of the calls I answered was from a distraught mother whose child had been having a very hard time reading her school assignments. Her daughter had lost her glasses and they were unable to afford another pair for her. I took down her information and assured her that someone would get back to her by the end of the day. She was so thankful and grateful to Helen Keller International for giving her and her daughter hope. Ultimately, I realized that it doesn’t matter what you’re supposed to be doing; what matters most is an act of kindness in a time of need.