Be My Eyes

I never thought I’d say this, but for the first time in my life, I really, really wish I had an iPhone. I’ve managed to avoid jumping on that bandwagon all this time, in spite of the fact that people often look at me funny when I tell them I can’t access the internet on my phone, and while it is capable of taking photos (I’m not that far out of the loop), it can’t send them to anyone.

The thing that has finally given me iPhone envy is this app that I heard about just today, called Be My Eyes. It connects sighted volunteers with blind and low vision people who need some momentary assistance. Given that there are about 14 volunteers currently signed up for the app for every blind person who has signed up for it, the gentleman whom I heard talking about it says he gets a call about once a month.

These calls can be something random, like, “Can you tell me if this milk has expired?” or “Is this tie green or red?” or “How many eggs does this recipe call for?”

I think this is a wonderful way to give a helping hand to someone in need. It would be great for homebound individuals, for example. They could feel as though they were contributing to the wider world. A great way to battle loneliness is to make a difference for someone else.

This app is one of those delightful inventions that makes you wonder why no one has thought of it before. If you have an iPhone and any time at all, I encourage you to volunteer. And if you do, I’d love it if you shared your experiences below.

P.S. Since I posted this this morning, several readers have pointed out that the app also works on Android. So those of you with fancier phones than mine really have no excuse!



Hey! Look what I wrote!

2 thoughts on “Be My Eyes

  1. Dorothy Burkett

    Barbara – I can totally relate to this. I was in the Rochester, N.Y. airport waiting for my flight home when a young lady came up to me and handed me her ticket. She spoke no English and she was obviously hispanic – I spoke little Spanish. The airline personnel were no help as they were busy with the oncoming flight which was an honor flight with 100 World War II survivors – many in wheelchairs. My new hispanic friend was so perplexed and frightened and all I could do was remember how I had felt early one morning in the Athens, Greece airport when my flight had been cancelled and there was no one there who spoke English and could tell me about it or that my luggage was 5 lbs. overweight and I was fined $100.00. So at the Rochester airport, I finally asked if anyone who had an I-phone could help us and we finally had a translator. I knew from her ticket that she was headed to Puerto Rico and I kept her with me as a seat mate until we got to Montgomery. I still don’t have an I-phone but I do have an Android which gives me all I need or desire to do.

    We both enjoy your blog and read your stories regularly. Thanks

    1. I’m so honored that you are reading my blog, and that you enjoy traveling as much as I do! I had a similar experience on a flight to Europe with a young girl who spoke no english, and the stewards seemed completely disinterested in calming her fears. All I could do was hold her hand. But I think it helped.

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