A family culture… in service to others

Man and woman stand in front of a world map, both pointing to the country India on the map. Together they are holding a family picture.
In 2023, we celebrate 60 years of partnering with communities to deliver the life-changing Gift of Sight. Today, the entire Jenkyns family – including Linda and Jim Jenkyns, pictured here – is continuing the legacy of Art Jenkyns. Art founded Operation Eyesight in 1963, when he began fundraising to provide cataract surgeries for patients and families in India.
Written by Colin Zak, published on June 26, 2023 Sign up for eNews

For the Jenkyns family, supporting Operation Eyesight has become a family tradition.

“For two decades, our entire family has come together each year for a shinny hockey game and fundraiser dinner,” says Linda Jenkyns, daughter of our founder Art Jenkyns. “It’s great to see the little ones growing up and becoming part of it.”

Three generations of the Jenkyns clan – including 11 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren – gather to raise money for the organization Art and Una Jenkyns created.

Elderly couple posing for a picture in front of the Taj Mahal.
Art and Una Jenkyns outside the Taj Mahal, India.

Art and Una’s son, Jim, says that Operation Eyesight has become a legacy for the entire family.

“Our parents modelled for us the importance of helping others,” he says. “We call it our ‘family culture,’ and it’s an honour to continue this work.”

As children, Jim, Linda and their three other siblings watched their parents lead Operation Eyesight. Six decades later, they say our organization has grown into something that would make their father proud.

“Dad’s whole life was service to others, from a very early age. He was making the world a better place for everyone, especially those who are underprivileged,” says Linda. “But he certainly didn’t expect it would last 60 years.”

Linda says there are many organizations people can choose to support, but she says Operation Eyesight has so many long-time supporters – and new donors as well – because we have stayed true to Art’s vision.

“I wonder how Dad would feel, now that others have taken on his vision and continued it with the same integrity,” Linda adds.

Black and white image of a man with glasses holding a young child in his arms. They are smiling at each other.
In 1963, Art was inspired to begin fundraising to support cataract surgeries in Sompeta, India. From humble beginnings, Operation Eyesight has grown into a global eye health leader. Together, we have transformed the lives of millions of people – For All The World To See!

Six decades is a lifetime, and in that time Linda says the world has changed, and so has Operation Eyesight.

“It’s different from fundraising back in the 60s, when everything was dependent on speaking engagements,” Linda explains. “Today, there’s social media, and the way to get the word out is totally different and keeps changing.”

Jim agrees.

“Dad just wanted to do his part and see other people get involved,” he adds. “That’s what donors are doing today. It’s a tribute to our dad and mom.”

Thank you, Linda, Jim and your entire family, for your dedicated and passionate support over all these years! Visit operationeyesight.com/60years to learn more about our 60-year history.

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