Eye Drop 2022: Nantanya Sortland to rappel 10-story building for charity

Tags: Legal Blindness, Philanthropy, VisionCorps

Reposted from Main Line Media News

By RICHARD ILGENFRITZ | rilgenfritz@mainlinemedianews.com | Main Line Media News

MALVERN — When Malvern resident Natanya Sortland jumped from the top of a 10-story building in Lancaster a year ago, she was hoping more of her fellow Chester County residents would go with her.

So once again, she’s asking Chester County residents to, metaphorically, step up to the edge with her as she makes a second leap.

Sortland’s jump was to rappel from the Holiday Inn in downtown Lancaster to raise money for an organization called VisionCorp that helped her after she began losing her vision.

The rappel is part of VisionCorp’s annual EyeDrop, its biggest fundraiser of the year. Last year, about 70 people participated by rappelling from the 10-story Holiday Inn.

“VisionCorps is a leading non-profit organization in Pennsylvania, on a mission to empower individuals who are blind or vision impaired to attain independence. This is done through rehabilitative, preventative and educational services, as well as by employing people who are blind in manufacturing, food processing, and administrative services,” according to its website.

Sortland began losing her vision after having a stroke. At first, things became blurry, and she’d have double vision. As time progressed, her vision continued to worsen. She began cutting and burning her hands while cooking. She nearly got hit by a car. Reading her mail became impossible.

She turned to her doctors for help as her vision worsened, but there were few resources in Chester County to help people with vision loss relearn everyday activities.

Someone then told her about VisionCorp. The help she received from them changed everything for her.

VisonCorp teamed her up with someone who was able to help her relearn many everyday activities.

“She said to me, ‘Whatever questions you have. I’ll find an answer, and we’ll figure it out. There’s nothing we can’t figure out together.’ And it wasn’t just the help they gave. It was the attitude that I was taught.”

When she turned to VisonCorp, they had just started operating in Chester County.

The first time she was asked to participate in the EyeDrop event, Sortland turned them down. But then, when she was told the organization wanted to make more of an effort to work with people in Chester County, she wanted to get on board.

According to Sortland, about 70 people participated in the EyeDrop event last year, but only she was the only person from Chester County. Everyone else was from the other four counties served by VisionCorp.

The fundraising was the same. While Chester County residents contributed about $3,500, the other four counties raised about $160,000.

That’s why she wants more of Chester County to step up.

Like she did last year, Sortland plans on dressing up as Lady Liberty because, in her words, “VisionCorp gave me my liberty back.”

Since VisionCorps doesn’t charge for its services and gets limited state funding, it mainly relies on donations. The event, Eye Drop 2022, raises both awareness and funding to help support the free services to people from birth to seniors who are blind and vision-impaired.

The event takes place at the Holiday Inn, 26 E. Chestnut St., Lancaster, on Friday, June 10, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For information on donating, go to https://give.visioncorps.net/fundraiser/3674069.