Through education, training, research and vision enhancement, Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired provides hope, confidence, and independence to people of all ages
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Virtual SEE THE LIGHT Lunch
October 29th 2020

Sponsored by PNC Bank logo

2020 See The Light Lunch Video

Miami Lighthouse’s annual signature event, our “SEE THE LIGHT” Luncheon, is one of our most important fundraising opportunities during the year. In past years, we’ve welcomed over 250 guests from our philanthropic family to a luncheon with music, entertainment and heartfelt remarks from program participants.

In keeping with the times of social distancing we are going virtual, so instead of 250 guests in a ballroom, we can now have unlimited attendees. Visit this web page on October 29th we will have a 30 minute program at 12:00pm featuring an exclusive performance by Latin superstar Willy Chirino and Chirino Sisters. We will also feature students in our Lighthouse Learning Center for Children™, Miami Lighthouse client Marin Baumer and a few more surprises!

Charles J. and Olga Nielson

Charles J. and Olga Nielson


My name is Charles J. Nielson and I am the Chair-Elect of Miami Lighthouse for the Blind. I introduced myself to Miami Lighthouse in 1987 and for the last 33 years my wife Olga and I have been involved with the organization in various capacities, both financially and organizationally. We have had the privilege of seeing how the various programs and mentoring have given comfort and improved the lives of literally thousands of blind and visually impaired individuals in our community.

It is gratifying to look back and realize that in 1987 Miami Lighthouse served the needs of some 640 blind and visually impaired individuals. This year, we will serve over 25,000 blind and visually impaired men, women, and children of all ages. Miami Lighthouse’s programs for adults teach the necessary skills to be able to be a part of the workforce, as well as assist in the challenges of daily life. Our music and art programs provide the ability to learn and grow in those fields. Most personally gratifying have been the blind babies' and children’s programs. The aid and comfort that the children’s programs continue to have, not just on the babies and children we serve, but their entire families is what has been the catalyst for our continued enthusiasm and support for Miami Lighthouse.

I cannot say enough about our President, Virginia Jacko, and the entire staff at Miami Lighthouse for their capable and tireless energy in serving the blind and visually impaired in our community. I speak for our entire family when I express our deep gratitude for the privilege of being a part of this great organization.

We are very fortunate to have committed and generous donors who continue to support Miami Lighthouse, even during these trying times. However, we need your financial assistance in order to continue to provide, and expand our services to those whose lives are touched and improved by our various programs.

Today, we are asking for your support of our Light the Way campaign, a one-for-one matching challenge to raise $9 million to expand our Miami Lighthouse Learning Center for Children™. An anonymous donor has created a Capstone Matching Challenge to help us reach our goal.  Your gift will now in essence be tripled!

Please join us. Support us. Grow with us. We can’t do it without you. You may make a donation by clicking the DONATE NOW button below or donating on November 19th Give Miami Logo by visiting


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Miami Lighthouse is honored by the following



Miami Lighthouse is AER accredited distinguishing that an agency or school operates at the highest level of quality and is positioned to generate the outcomes needed by the clients.

PR Week

Miami Lighthouse received the prestigious 2020 award for "Best in Nonprofit" campaign by PRWeek referred to as the "Oscars of the PR industry".

Charity Navigator

Miami Lighthouse ranks among the elite 1% of U.S. nonprofits having earned 13 consecutive 4-star ratings from Charity Navigator, the nation's premier independent nonprofit evaluator. Receiving such a distinction reflects our sound fiscal management, responsible use of donor dollars, and financial strength.

The Children's Trust

Early Intervention Blind Babies Program Named the Children's Trust 2016 Program of the Year. This most prestigious award recognizes this Early Intervention Program, in particular, for including parents as teachers.


Miami Lighthouse Learning Center for Children™ is a Florida gold seal and nationally Accredited Professional Preschool Learning Environment (APPLE)


Florida Blue Foundation

Miami Lighthouse was recognized at the 2015 Florida Blue Foundation Sapphire Awards luncheon as an organization that has demonstrated excellence and innovation in community health.

The Beacon Council

Miami Lighthouse received the prestigious 2015 Beacon Award in Education at the 13th Annual Beacon Council Awards.

Marlins Charity Partner

Miami Lighthouse is a two-time Charity Partner (2013 and 2014) of the Marlins Foundation and a 2017 Major League Baseball All-Star Game Legacy Partner. Our Florida Heiken Children's Vision Program has received over $300,000 in charitable donations through these partnerships.

Health Foundation of South Florida

Miami Lighthouse received the prestigious 2008 Concern Award from Health Foundation of South Florida.

Miami Today

Miami Lighthouse received a Silver medal at the 2016 Miami Today Gold Medal Awards Ceremony.


Miami New Times - Best of Miami 2017

Miami Lighthouse named "Best of Miami" Charity 2017 by the New Times.

United Homecare

Miami Lighthouse received United Homecare's 2012 Thelma Gibson Community Service Award at the 18th Annual Claude Pepper Memorial Awards Ceremony.

South Florida Business Journal

Miami Lighthouse received the prestigious South Florida Business Journal 2011 Excellence in Health Care Award in the Community Outreach category.

Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce

Miami Lighthouse honored by being named the recipient of the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce 2010 Non-Profit Business Diamond Award.


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