For the past two years, Caritas Smile has partnered with the Gift of Vision, an initiative to raise funds for blind youth in the Dominican Republic. The proceeds from the project go towards the living and educational expenses of children to attend the National Blind School in Santo Domingo.
Children with disabilities in the Dominican Republic do not receive government funding or support, so initiatives like this one are extremely important. Many blind children come from poor families that cannot afford to send them to school on their own. The Gift of Vision helps fund these children so they can receive an education like any other child.
Joselito Hernandez Scholarship Fund
To date, the Gift of Vision has created one scholarship program to support the living and educational expenses of blind youth at the Blind School. The Joselito Hernandez fund was created for Joselito Hernandez, a young man with an incredible story. He lost his vision in one eye at age 9 in an accident, and moved with his grandmother to Santo Domingo to receive better medical care. They were forced to live in crime ridden neighborhood due to economic hardships. One night, a stray bullet hit his other eye and left him completely blind.
Despite losing his vision entirely at age 12, Hernandez still lives in the same home where he lost his left eye. He remains a happy young man and has become a professional masseuse. He hopes to be able to support himself despite his disability and wants others in similar situations to do the same. The Joselito Hernandez Scholarship fund goes to doing just that.
Partnership with Caritas Smile
Caritas Smile has helped the Gift of Vision fundraise for the past couple years and we continue to do so. All proceeds raised for the Gift of Vision will go to the Joselito Hernandez Scholarship Fund.
There are also other ways you can give and support the blind community through Caritas Smile. Volunteers who go on our Take a Trip, Change a Life program will have the opportunity to visit the National Blind School in Santo Domingo. There, they can donate their time and energy to working with students and assisting with any repairs or renovations to the school property. This is a unique service learning opportunity that university students can have through Caritas Smile.
If you want to give to the Joselito Hernandez Scholarship Fund, you can contact them through email at Joselitofund@gmail.com. You can also donate to Caritas Smile, as some of our proceeds go to the Gift of Vision. We are having our yearly Masquerade Ball this year that you can attend if you’re in the area. You can also go to the Schasteâ Tearoom in Cranston or Providence, RI this holiday season. 10% of all profits on Mondays will go to Caritas Smile, so you can enjoy a unique tea room experience and donate to a good cause at the same time!
Emma is a freelance writer who specializes in marketing and personal pieces concerning mental health and other causes she’s passionate about. Currently, she resides in Raleigh, NC and when she isn’t writing, she’s a proud, part-time nanny.