National Volunteer Week: Recognizing Our Incredible Community of Support

April 11th, 2016 by FFB Canada

April 10 to April 16, 2016 is National Volunteer Week! It’s time to celebrate and thank all of our incredible volunteers who make the fight against blindness possible! Our community of volunteer supporters help us host incredible national fundraisers, educational events, guide our organization forward and much, much more. We want to graciously thank all of our volunteers across Canada for your dedication and hard work to advance the effort to develop new treatments for blinding eye diseases.

Our fun-loving event staff put together a quick “Thank You” video for our volunteers, and our community to enjoy. Check it out above!

We would love to be able to thank each and every one of our dedicated volunteers personally, but there are so many of you that we just don’t have the space. So we’d like to take this opportunity to recognize a small handful of our exceptional volunteers. Read on to learn how some of our amazing volunteers are lending a hand as we work to restore hope and sight.

Photo: James Collins

James Collins

James Collins has been a wonderful volunteer for the Foundation Fighting Blindness for the last five years. James comes into our office regularly with his caregiver to help with large mailings and tasks that help us prepare for our Vision Quest education days. James attends Vision Quest every year with his family to learn about the newest research discoveries. We hope he takes great pride in knowing he has played a part in making Vision Quest possible. Over the years, the staff has gotten to know James and we really enjoy seeing him in the office. He always has a smile and lighthearted comments to brighten our days. James is very conscience about doing a good job and doing it quickly. We know we must be prepared with lots for James to do when he comes in because he is so focused on the job that he’ll have it done before we know it. The Foundation Fighting Blindness is very grateful to James for his ongoing commitment to our organization and his support of vision research.

Photo: Owen


Owen is one of our youngest Ambassadors and has been a champion fundraiser for vision research.

When Owen was first diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa  just over a year ago at the age of ten, he felt “sad and angry, scared and confused”. Now that he has found a community of people dedicated to ending blindness, he has discovered something powerful: hope.

Owen is putting that hope into action. On our Sight-Saver platform, Owen and his family have raised over $45,000 for sight-saving research since 2015. Your donations have also given Owen the confidence to speak about his eye disease and the research he is fundraising for. He bravely made his vision loss the subject of a speech to his classmates this year and went on to win his school and regional speaking competitions! He’ll be putting his new skill to work this spring as he shares his story with our Comic Vision audiences. Owen has also courageously shared his story in our spring fundraising campaign. Owen is confident that your donations will one day find treatments for his eye disease and many others. Until then, your donations let Owen be a kid and look forward to his future. A tremendous thanks to Owen for so bravely sharing his experience with vision loss!


Photo: Melissa Yuan

Melissa Yuan

Melissa Yuan is a high school student who generously volunteers her time at the Foundation’s Toronto office when she’s not studying or playing on her school sports teams. Since October 2015, Melissa has provided invaluable assistance with our Donor Stewardship Program, helping us thank our generous donors for their critical support of vision research. We want to thank Melissa for all of her fantastic work!

Photo: George Sheen

George Sheen

George has been involved with the Foundation Fighting Blindness for over three years as a dedicated volunteer and donor. He currently sits on our national Board of Directors, providing invaluable strategic oversight. In addition to this role, George has supported our Comic Vision and Cycle for Sight events and assisted with our Major Gifts Committee. As a retired Partner of PwC Canada, George brings a wealth of knowledge and skills from his career in national financial services and leadership development to the FFB.

George has also been an unwavering supporter of our growing National Young Leaders Program for blind and partially sighted youth, ages 17-29. Our young leaders collaborate on advocacy and initiatives spanning peer support, mentorship, accessibility in education and career development, with a shared goal of building a more inclusive community. In addition to offering mentoring and leadership development advice to the Young Leaders, George has also contributed his videography skills for the creation of our new Young Leaders promotional video and photos. A big thank you to George for all that he has done and continues to do for the FFB and our community!

Photo: Lorna Rosenstein

Lorna Rosenstein

Lorna has a strong belief in giving back to the community and to “making a difference”. She has been a wonderful and generous volunteer to the Foundation Fighting Blindness for over two decades. Lorna has been the voice of our donor thank you call program for many years, and we all know that thanking donors is so very important.  Lorna has also been a tremendous fan of one of the Foundations biggest signature events: Cycle for Sight.  Not only is Lorna an incredible virtual fundraisers, she would rally together friends and family to volunteer on the day of the event, cheering on riders, encouraging people to find their strength to make it up one more hill on their incredible cycling journey from Toronto to Blue Mountain, all in support of the Foundation Fighting Blindness. Lorna has also been a key-note motivational speaker at many of the Foundation Fighting Blindness Vision Quest Education Conferences in Toronto. A true leader in the community, Lorna served on the Foundation’s Board of Directors for over 17 years.  We hope Lorna knows what an impact she has made to the organization and to those around her. We cannot thank Lorna enough for all she has contributed to help lead the fight against blindness. 

Would you like to volunteer with the Foundation Fighting Blindness? Get in touch today!