Our company values are defined by the nine principles of our founder, Barclay Simpson. The eighth principle is “Give Back.” According to Barclay it reflects the idea that “we’re all connected in some way and are all part of a greater community. It’s important to make what impact you can – you may not have the financial means that others might have but whatever you can do, do it. Look for small ways to give back every day.” Dena Lee, a Customer Service Representative from our Stockton branch, has taken that value to heart. She shared with us why this is her favorite value and how she applies it to her personal life.
My favorite of Barclay’s Nine Principles of Business is Give Back, or “do what you can.” Although it’s my favorite, I’ve struggled with finding the time to do anything extra. Like most people, my days are jam-packed with what can feel like a million things to do. Taking care of my job, my family and myself has me going full speed ahead from the time my feet hit the floor in the morning to the moment my head hits the pillow at night. I’ve always wanted to do more for others but just couldn’t find the time.
All that changed one day in June 2018 while scrolling through my Facebook page. I came across a video about a new app called Be My Eyes. The video showed how the app works by connecting visually impaired people with sighted people when help is needed.
It works by using the camera on your phone. A visually impaired person logs into the app and “calls” for help. They are then connected with a sighted person. The person in need uses their camera to show what they need help with and the volunteer assists them with their need.
I immediately downloaded the free app and signed up to be a volunteer. About a week later, I was sitting in my living room, folding laundry and looked down at my phone just as the message popped up from the app stating that a blind person was calling for help.
I immediately picked up and there was a kind woman on the other end who needed help finding an icon on her computer screen. She told me what she needed and, with my instruction, panned over the screen with her phone. I told her where to place her cursor and “click,” she was on her way. She was very grateful for the help. It was a very quick call and SO easy but, man, did it feel great to be able to help!
One of the great parts of this app is if I was not able to help in that moment, it’s okay because the call is sent to many users at once and whoever can answer does. I’ve taken many calls for help since downloading the app. One was helping a man find his way in a city he was visiting. Once I helped a woman who had dropped her expensive lipstick on the street. She didn’t have to stop a stranger to get help and possibly make herself vulnerable to be taken advantage of. She just made a call.
With each call, I get so excited to help. As of now, 2021, there are 346,478 blind persons signed up on the app and more than five million volunteers. I love those numbers!! So many people want to help. So many people get to “do what you can” because of a simple app!
Be My Eyes is available for free in your app store. I encourage you to check it out. I’m able to help people “see,” and in turn they help my heart.