Xavier Magazine

Sight for Poor Eyes

Hallam Sargeant is no stranger to altruism. A mentor with the Cincinnati Youth Collaborative and his company’s 2003 YMCA Black Achiever of the Year, the 2004 M.B.A. graduate decided to spread his good will on an international level. So in November, the senior compensation and benefits analyst for Luxottica Retail traveled to Cuatitlan, Mexico, to participate in a two-week Give the Gift of Sight optical mission project sponsored by LensCrafters and Lions Clubs International.

He was part of a 30-member team that set up a temporary clinic to dispense used eyeglasses to approximately 20,000 people. For some—including a 102-year-old man—it was the first pair they ever received.

“Of all the jobs, dispensing was probably the most rewarding because you got to see the look on people’s faces—especially when they’ve never worn glasses before,” says Sargeant, who went through a lengthy and competitive application process to secure a spot on the team. “I just felt a greater need to go and give and to help people.”

One 6-year-old Mexican boy beamed as Sargeant placed a pair of eyeglasses on the bridge of his nose. “How are you today?” Sargeant asked through a translator. “I’m very happy,” the boy replied, “because you’re giving me my new glasses today.”

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