Astronomers Without Borders (AWB) is seeking sponsors for shipping and handling expenses in a program that provides free eclipse glasses to disadvantaged communities across the United States to observe the first coast-to coast solar eclipse to grace US skies in 99 years.
AWB is giving away more than 100,000 glasses to needy groups, institutes and organizations across the country that would not otherwise be able experience this spectacular event. The glasses have been donated, but the shipping and handling costs can be a considerable hurdle for disadvantaged communities. We are asking for $25,000 to cover the cost of getting these free glasses into their hands.
AWB’s strong international network, known worldwide, was entrusted with the distribution of these safe solar viewing glasses in the US through the generous donations by Google, Big Kid Science, the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space and the American Astronomical Society.
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Extensive media coverage of this giveaway program has already reached financially disadvantaged youth groups, Native American reservations, children's cancer hospitals, and organizations for developmentally-delayed adults and the physically impaired.
Here is a list of articles about AWB's glasses giveaway:
Total Solar Eclipse Viewing 2017: Where to Buy Glasses and How to Make a Homemade Viewer
By Josh Lowe, June 27, 2017
Astronomers Without Borders Focuses on Bringing Eclipse Science to All
By Samantha Mathewson, June 26, 2017
SKY AND TELESCOPE:
How to Build on the Solar Eclipse Experience
By Mike Simmons on July 10, 2017
Underserved communities will also be able to view August 2017 total solar eclipse
By Misty Lee on June 23, 2017
The Next Total Solar Eclipse: Everything You Need to Know
By Melissa Chan on June 22, 2017
Astronomers Without Borders Launches "Building on the Eclipse" Education Program
Thursday, June 22, 2017
Astronomers Without Borders Will Give Away 100,000 Safe Solar Eclipse Glasses
By Samantha Mathewson, Space.com Contributor on June 21, 2017
It’s T-minus-2 months to solar eclipse: Officials brace for totality traffic jams
By Chelsey Ballarte on June 21, 2017
In their words
Here’s a sample of what we’ve heard from groups requesting these free eclipse glasses:
“Alternative school for students with academic, social, and emotional needs. Our school serves students that need individualized attention and instruction. Many have histories of abuse, homelessness, drug abuse, and poverty. “ - Middle School in Idaho
“Language Center with Students/Refugees new to the United States within 2 years.” - Middle School, Texas
“Our students are primarily low-income and geographically isolated. Students have very little access to Science Education resources. We plan on Distributing a pair of sunglasses to each student, and also Distributing sunglasses during our town parade. This will allow members of the community to have a pair of sunglasses. Many of them would not be able to afford to purchase a pair.” - Western Oregon School
“We serve free dental screening and treatments to under-served and at-risk youths around Columbus Ohio” - Dental Office in Ohio
“Mostly socioeconomically disadvantaged, high % minority, some w/chronic disease, rural” - Illinois Health Services Center
“My school is located in a high crime area and serves minority kids. I want them to experience something wonderful to show them that there is more to life than what goes on in the streets. “ - Illinois School
“Small school serving children from K-12 grade. We are in rural Alabama and many of our students live well below the poverty level. We are trying to develop a love for science in our students. This is a once in their lifetime opportunity for most of our students and without your help, they will not be able to participate.”
“Disabled mother and son and Hard working Vets of the army. All who do so much for the community but never get any recognition. They help get the community home safe and donate at least twice a year to other families and the community across Greenville SC without any recognition.” - Veteran Group
“Native American youth in foster care” - Youth Group in South Dakota
“Senior citizens for whom this is likely to be the last celestial special event of their lifetimes.” - Senior Center in Oklahoma
AWB is honored to be able to bring the wonders of the Universe to these communities. The eclipse, and all celestial events, should be enjoyed by all. This rare opportunity is more important than a single event. It has the potential to inspire an appreciation of science and nature, and give a boost to STEM education.
The response to the announcement of this opportunity has been overwhelming, with requests for all 100,000 glasses in 48 hours. Requests from schools and groups in economically disadvantaged, minority, immigrant and Native American communities were expected but many others have requested these glasses, including churches in geographically remote areas, organizations serving disabled adults and children (deaf, blind, and physically- and mentally-challenged), STEM groups for girls, boys and girls scouting groups, psychiatric institutions, dental offices serving high risk children, and senior citizen residences.
Who We Are
Astronomers Without Borders is a charitable, non-profit organization that builds lasting bonds between communities by sharing the wonders of the sky, regardless of country or culture. AWB brings people together, including those with physical, financial or mental challenges, through our common heritage of the night sky.
AWB’s many projects reach groups around the globe. Crowdfunding campaigns have financed eclipse glasses for schools across Africa and in South America. Science is being introduced into schools in Tanzania through astronomy and a science center and observatory under construction. Resources are supporting STEM in a girl’s school in Kenya. Groups in many countries are doing public outreach with telescopes for the first time. Whether it’s a small amateur astronomy club in Kosovo or schools in isolated communities of Sri Lanka or India, AWB is creating lasting relationships and goodwill by building connections that reach around the world.
Donors of the eclipse glasses have been cited in press coverage that has already reached millions, and this opportunity will provide the same exposure for additional sponsors. Sponsors’ support is also acknowledged on the AWB website and in social media. AWB social media following includes more than 86,000 Facebook followers and 6,300 Twitter followers.