Better Vision. Better Hearing. Better Georgia.
Operation I Care is Going to College!
Over the past four years, high school students Shockley Nunnery and Keller Sheppard have embraced the Lighthouse’ Eyeglass Recycling program, Operation I Care, with a passion. Now they are taking the program to UGA.
These two best friends started working with Operation I Care in 2009. They set up eyeglass collection boxes, canvassed neighborhoods, and brought groups from school out to wash and sort glasses. They’ve even brought friends out before football games to volunteer. Keller himself has taken many trips to Athens in a van packed full of eyeglasses for use at a free clinic. “(Executive Director) Christina and (Associate Director) Tory were very accommodating,” says Marci Nunnery, Shockley’s mother. “They let the boys run with the program.”
Over 2,700 eyeglasses have been donated through their hard work. Residents from New York and New Jersey have shipped their eyeglasses to the boys. They even have their own website and special made collection boxes. Glasses from Operation I Care have been used in trips all over the world. Shockley’s older brother Trey, a medical student at Emory University, flew to Haiti in 2010 after the devastating earthquake with nearly 300 pairs of Lighthouse glasses, including the first 153 pairs his brother and Keller had collected, cleaned, and read.
Now the boys are going to college. They plan to take their program up to Athens, to the University of Georgia. “We want to grow Operation I Care exponentially,” says Marci. “By putting collection boxes on campus and around town, we want to spread the word about vision loss and the work the Lighthouse is doing for Georgia’s uninsured.” Trey is studying to be an ophthalmologist. Keller’s younger sister Erin is leading groups to clean eyeglasses.
These two families continue to be a shining example of how impassioned individuals (of any age) can make an impact not just locally, but around the world.
Shockley and Keller's story is featured in the Summer 2012 edition of The Beacon, the Lighthouse newsletter. Check out the complete Beacon to read their story and others!