Sightseeing. A periodic tour of CVI news, views and events.

Donor Spotlight: Alannah Edwards

Alannah Edwards and her mom

At just 14 years old Alannah Edwards understands the importance of giving back. Throughout her young life she has asked her friends to give donations instead of gifts for her birthday so she can help others who are less fortunate than she is. What an inspiring young lady she is, and CVI is grateful that she chose to support the work we do this year in honor of her friend. Hear from Alannah directly about why she gives back.

Alannah Edwards

Inman Middle School

Birthday: September 13

What gave you the idea of asking for donations instead of birthday gifts this year?

It was something that I have done every year. I thought that this year, in honor of my friend Devon, who recently passed away, I would donate to an organization that I felt could help others who suffered from the same conditions she did. I told my friends about the organization and they all thought it was a cool idea and some of their parents wanted them to do the same thing on their birthdays!

I want a lot of things that I don’t need, so my parents encouraged me to find a new perspective. And maybe instead of getting new presents, like a pair of shoes I don’t need, I can get someone something that they need, not just want.

What inspired you to give those donations to the Center for the Visually Impaired?

I did some research and I looked at a couple of organizations and came across CVI. Something about the way they served people with limited vision caught my eye. I was inspired by their programs and the photos and images on their website were meaningful to me.

How much were you able to collect?

My friends contributed $100 as a group and my parents made a larger contribution in honor of my friend, Devon Lengel.

Why do you feel it’s important to give back?

Because if you grow up in a world where you don’t have to worry about your health, your eyesight or having a disability, or where your next meal will come from, then you are living a dream that many people don’t get to experience. I think it is important to give back to people who don’t have as much as you do.

Little things made my friend Devon happy that I would not have recognized and it made me feel grateful to have someone who showed me the importance of the small moments. So even donating something little to someone can make a difference and not only would it make them happier but it will make you happier.

What would you tell others about why it’s important to support an organization like CVI?

Nonprofits like CVI rely on people to support their work. And donating what you think may be a little amount can make a large impact on someone’s experience. The money we gave helped purchase 11 walking canes, which was more than I ever expected, which means 11 people benefitted from something that I would have used to buy something I didn’t need.