Giving Back

New Eyes for the Needy Honors WW II Navy Veteran and Lifelong Millburn Resident John "Jake" Dalton

New Eyes for the Needy Executive Director, Jean Gajano, with Jake Dalton pictured in front of the room named in his honor. Credits: New Eyes for the Needy

SHORT HILLS, NJ - New Eyes for the Needy recently recognized longtime volunteer, Jake Dalton, for his twenty-three years of service to the Overseas Glasses Recycling Program, by naming the Eyeglasses Sorting Room in his honor. Surprised with the recognition at his 90th birthday celebration, Jean Gajano, Executive Director, said, “Jake’s guidance, knowledge and dedication are an inspiration to everyone at New Eyes.  His tireless devotion has helped countless individuals throughout the world live better lives through clear vision. He’s an extraordinary example to all of us.”

The Sorting Room plaque reads: “John J. Dalton Sorting Room. Dedicated to Jake Dalton, Overseas Recycling Program Manager.  In recognition of his longtime dedication and service to improving the vision of the needy throughout the world. Made possible by a gift from an anonymous donor.”

A lifelong resident of Millburn, Jake has volunteered at New Eyes since 1993. As the Overseas Recycling Program Manager, Jake organizes the hundreds of thousands of pairs of glasses donated for developing countries each year and manages the daily teams of volunteers that sort the glasses by prescription type. He also assists the daily groups with developmental disabilities with useful life skills such as sorting and packing glasses for shipment. Jake volunteers at New Eyes over 1,100 hours a year and also participates on the Board of Trustees.  A World War II veteran, Jake is also very active in volunteering with the American Legion, the Knights of Columbus, and St. Rose of Lima Church.

New Eyes for the Needy was founded in 1932 and is located at 549 Millburn Ave., Short Hills.  New Eyes empowers children and adults in the U.S. and overseas with the improved vision they need to pursue a better quality of life. New prescription glasses are purchased through a voucher program for children and adults in the U.S. who cannot afford glasses.  New Eyes also collects and redistributes donated glasses to the needy overseas in developing countries.  Last year, New Eyes was able to purchase 9,910 pairs of glasses for the needy in the U.S. and  redistribute over 225,000 pairs of glasses in over 20 developing countries. For information on volunteering, please contact Sally Golding at or 973-376-4088. Donations to New Eyes can be made on-line at


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