On the Home Front
Slowly but surely, Sandy Kalmar has turned her home into a factory – a factory that transforms donated eyeglasses into miracles.
Sandy approaches her work with the precision of a corporate CEO, the patience of a saint and the persistence of a mom (not surprising, considering she is the mother of three grown sons).
She doesn’t do it for money. Sandy happily volunteers all her time. And she certainly doesn’t do it for fame. In fac, she would much prefer to stay anonymous.
So, why does she do it? That’s an easy question for Sandy to answer: it’s God’s will. “it took me more than 40 years to find out what I wanted to do in life,” she says. “God’s timing has been wonderful.”
Several years ago, Sandy took her first mission trip to Haiti and saw for herself how a seemingly simple act of kindness could change so many lives. “It was just awesome to witness how people would smile when they put on a pair of glasses and could see,” Sandy recalls.
The memory of those smiles is what continues to motivate Sandy to find new and improved ways for increasing productivity.
As a result, the sun room, although still bursting with plants, now doubles as her work space. It’s here, surrounded by her laptop, lens meter and, for some added inspiration, photos of the children she sponsors, that she’ll neutralize (identify the existing prescription) every pair of glasses she receives.
On a good day, Sandy can process 300 pairs; on a really good day, she can double that.
And the basement, once the domain of art projects, toys, and workout equipment, is now home to a makeshift assembly line. And that’s where helpers from the local church, like Denise Wilson and Ginger Miller, set up shop every month or so. Their job is to sort through the rows of glasses spread out across several card tables and one old air hockey game.
Once that task is completed, the woman fill boxes with an assortment of bifocals and positive and negative prescriptions – all clearly labeled and neatly sealed in Baggies. (But knowing how busy field clinics can get, Sandy also includes a detailed spreadsheet in every package.)
Those boxes – stacks and stacks of them – take up the rest of the basement. Sandy’s husband, Brian, doesn’t seem to mind; in fact, he built the shelves.
This past year alone, Sandy and her two volunteer crews – one group takes the daytime shift while the other works the evenings – prepared more than 32,000 pairs of glasses to be given (totally free-of-charge) to people in need at local and international clinics.
“I’m always amazed at how Sandy can do all of this. It’s such a blessing and so rewarding to be a part of it,” Denise says.
“A pair of glasses can be life changing,” Ginger adds.
Ginger Miller, Denise Wilson, & Sandy Kalmar
Partnering with many different mission groups and foundations is a way in which Mission Vision can help individuals in need all across the glove. Free eye exams and glasses can change lives.
Students can see the board and have a better chance to succeed with their new prescription glasses. Adults who earn a living that requires accurate close-up vision acquired readers. Many individuals need sunglasses for their outdoor occupations.
In 2017 through 2018, Mission Vision helped over 80,900 people internationally receive prescription glasses, readers and sunglasses that they so desperately needed.
If You want to help with our international mission work but are not able to travel abroad, you can form a work group like Sandy and her friends. Prepare glasses and lenses here at home so our missionaries can take them abroad and distribute our frames to our brothers and sisters overseas. Click the button below to contact us and find out how you and your family, work friends, or church community can volunteer for laying the groundwork for change overseas.