Community Cares Spotlight Blog #2 - Dr. Jeremy Ciano, RevolutionEYES/Little Eyes
The impact of IBCF and ISBVI would simply not be possible without the generous support of our supporters. Their generosity provides students with visual impairments the essential educational equipment, resources, and programs that are not available anywhere else in the state. As a way of giving back to our sponsors, we want to share the stories of the people who help us make impact.
RevolutionEYES thinks outside-the-box! When he was in his 3rd year of Optometry school, Dr. Jeremy Ciano envisioned a revolutionary new concept that would provide his patients with high-end customer service and exclusively unique products, while featuring the latest in modern medical technology. In 2007, that dream became a reality, when RevolutionEYES opened in Clay Terrace.
The Little Eyes team strive to provide the finest in pediatric optometry services for children ages 6 months to 13 years old.
Written by Braden Worrell
Tell us about your company and how you first encountered IBCF.
I came home one day and my four-year-old son said “Daddy, I want to be an optometrist when I grow up.” And I’m like, “oh man, that's awesome. I'll come work for you someday!” And my four year old son looked me in the eyes and said, “Daddy, you can't work for me, you're not good with kids.” And I thought, “Well, that's not cool, but he's pretty cerebral so maybe he's going somewhere.” So I asked, “What do you mean?” And he responds, “Well I'm going to have my own place someday and it's going to have little chairs and little glasses and I'm going to call it, Little Eyes.” I thought “that's actually brilliant” and we sat down and actually wrote it down right then and there on the spot and in August 2013 we launched, Little Eyes.
Right out of the gate we wanted to back a charity. We wanted to be able to make a donation to a certain foundation with every pair of glasses that we sell from day one. So we started doing some research and fell absolutely in love with the Indiana Blind Children’s Foundation.
So how did you then become directly involved with IBCF?
It really was just a real simple email to Laura, I said, “Hey, this is what we want to do. Would you mind if we wrote you a check every month? It's not going to be a lot in the beginning because we're ramping up this brand new business…” but she was so gracious to just have anything that we could contribute. We've grown over the last five years, our checks have grown proportionally and we've been absolutely honored to write that check every month. We’re excited to promote a small local business and we love they’re right here in our backyard.
What about IBCF’s mission captured your attention personally?
Helping children when we have a pediatric practice goes hand in hand. Vision is the number one sense that we live our life through, so you couldn't ask for a more perfect fit for a pediatric optometric practice than with IBCF. It was almost too good to be true because it fits into every category of what we want to do: it's local, it’s vision, and it's children. It's a great organization that is doing something wonderful for the community. It's a match made in heaven.
And we let our patients know that too, that with every pair of glasses or procedure a portion goes to IBCF. And we don't do it as a marketing, we just do it because we want people to feel good. We want people to understand that we're part of the community. We want them to understand that there's a higher purpose than ourselves. It’s not only them making a purchase that supports a small local business, but that it's also going towards a local cause and we're part of the community.
Since becoming a supporter of IBCF and the students at ISBVI, how has your perspective on people with visual impairments changed?
When I visited ISBVI, one of the things that really stood out to me was how expensive technology is for these children that need it the most. Laura told us about the Braille Note Touch that has the magnetic braille keyboard and its six thousand dollars for a single tablet. That blew me away because I had no idea what the cost was. If we're trying to buy an iPad for the office, you're looking at between $500- $1000 dollars, right? That's your standard operating procedure. But, 12 times the cost, right? That's crazy. So really what it did is it opened my eyes that we need to step up our game from a donation standpoint. Now that we have a stronger business, we can give when we can. ‘You gotta do what you gotta do when you gotta do it’, that’s one of my famous quotes.
And why do you continue to support the Foundation today?
Honestly, the people that are involved in the Foundation have been just tremendous. Working with Ms. Alvarado is just an absolute pleasure. I wish that we had more opportunities to help people understand this time of need. This is the time that we need to really give the most and I would just love to help more in any way I can.