Gift of Sight

"The gift of sight illuminates not just the world around us, but also the depths of our gratitude for life's beauty."  - Luigi Squillante

What is the Gift of Sight Program?
The Gift of Sight Program of the New York Grand Lodge OSIA began in 1982 and gives assistance to people in need with vision problems … both medically and financially.   In addition to the many lay volunteers who serve on this committee, prominent physicians in the fields of ophthalmology, optometrics and other related medical disciplines have donated their time and expertise to the program.  These physicians are the Medical Committee-At-Large … and are available for second opinions and consultations.  In addition, the committee has the volunteer services of a prominent surgeon who serves as a Medical Advisor on a regular basis.

Who do they help?
The Gift of Sight has been a financial and medical sponsor to many children and adults for surgical procedures performed in hospitals throughout the United States.  Housing accommodations have been met for patients who arrive for surgery from foreign countries.

What have they done?
The Gift of Sight purchased the Corneal Refrigeration Unit for the Long Island Eye Bank at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, New York.  They also fund research grants for the Wilmer Eye Institute for Retinal Research at John Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland.

Every year, the Gift of Sight program sponsors a guide dog through the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind in Smithtown, New York.  Beyond this … many senior citizens without health insurance who have not yet qualified for Medicare have had retinal or cataract surgery through the help of the Gift of Sight program.

How are they funded?
The Gift of Sight is dependent upon the generosity of supporters, whose tax-deductible contributions enable aid to those in need of specialized eye care.

How do I obtain assistance from The Gift of Sight?
You can obtain an application by calling the New York Grand Lodge Office, Order Sons of Italy in America, 516-785-4623.  You will receive a Gift of Sight Review Form and Application, which must be filled out and returned along with the front page of your most recent income tax return.  The Gift of Sight Committee and Medical Committee will meet to assess your application for financial and medical aid.  Please be assured that all personal information will be kept completely confidential.

Gift of Sight Scholarship Grant
Once a year, the Gift of Sight presents a special scholarship grant to a high school graduating student who is legally visually impaired.  The criteria of the award are that the applicant must be a current high school graduate who will begin full time undergraduate study in the fall.  Official transcripts; SAT/ACT scores; official documentation of special need; two letters of recommendation from teachers or counselors and a student essay summarizing educational and career goals, school and community service and a discussion of the significance of Italian heritage must be submitted for consideration.  Applicants must be a resident of New York State and of Italian Heritage.  A $10 application fee must be included with each application.  You can download a copy of this application from our scholarship page on this website.

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