At 13 years old, Sienna already has her sights set on changing the world.
“Eyesight is one of the most important gifts we have and if you get involved in this work or donate, you can see how much you have changed someone’s life by helping them to see the world clearly again,” she said.
This month, Sienna and her family are traveling to the Dominican Republic (DR) to deliver critical humanitarian aid to people living in poverty through Mission of Hope, a nonprofit organization she initially connected with through her local church. Mission of Hope staff and volunteers travel every year to support a Haitian community living in the DR with the essential items they need, accompanied by the delivery of a 40-foot container of donated goods.
This year, Sienna reached out to RestoringVision for a donation of eyeglasses after realizing she could increase her impact by including vision services in their upcoming mission. “When we started preparing for this trip, there were many categories of donations we could choose to try to collect,” Sienna said. “I saw eyeglasses and I thought that was one of the most important things a person could have that could change their life, so I decided to focus on that.”
In addition to delivering donations of many essential items including eyeglasses, the group will also help to construct and repair homes for families. Mission of Hope previously built a school and a medical clinic which has had a lasting impact on the community. This year, they will help to complete building a house that will provide shelter for a family of six. Thanks to RestoringVision’s programs, paired with Sienna’s drive to make a difference, 1,000 adults and children in the Dominican Republic will soon regain their ability to see clearly.
“I know many people in the community we are visiting have poor vision and I wanted to help them,” she said. “This would make it much easier for them to face the other daily life challenges. I couldn’t imagine taking care of a family without being able to see clearly. I think it would lift their hearts if they could see clearly for the first time again.”
One of Sienna’s greatest motivations comes from the example her parents have set for her.
“My parents do a lot to help others as much as possible and I want to follow in their footsteps,” she said.
Rosa Maria, Sienna’s mother, said that she is so proud of how Sienna has embraced this effort to collect donations for the community they are helping, and that her enthusiasm and excitement to help a group of people she has never met also makes her very proud.
“We know she will go on to be a force for good in the world throughout her life,” Rosa said. “There is tremendous joy in seeing your child look beyond their own world and show care and concern for others in need. In a time when there are so many distractions from what’s truly important, watching Sienna connect with this cause has been really special. And we’re so thankful to RestoringVision for helping her to realize her goal of helping bring clearer sight to a community that faces so many challenges. This is a win-win-win for everyone involved.”
Sienna said that one of her long-term goals is to become a marine biologist because she wants to rescue and study animals. She also wants to learn more about the ocean and help save its endangered species.