Paying it Forward

Angela Cato - Dec 06, 2016

Tags: Employment    Industies   
A lot can change in three years. Francisco “Paco” Padilla moved to the United States from Mexico in 2009. In 2010 while working as a truck driver in Texas, he lost his eyesight over a two-month period due to an inherited disease. In 2011, he found a job at Envision that brought financial stability to his family along with their first home. Hanging on his home’s walls is the certificate he received for being named a 2016 Employee of the Year at Envision.
 
Paco doesn’t take his good fortune for granted and is “paying it forward” by handing out free canes to people with vision loss back in his Mexican hometown of Tepetitlan de Morelos. During the recent conference in Alexandria, Va. where Paco was being honored with other Employee of the Year awardees representing National Industries for the Blind agencies, Bill Hudson, the CEO of the North Carolina-based LC Industries, heard about Paco’s charitable actions. On the spot, Hudson pledged $10,000 of his personal money to aid in the effort.
 
What started as a one-man effort is now much bigger than he ever imagined.
 
The people with vision loss in Tepetitlan de Morelos are so poor they use PVC pipes or sticks to find their way around. Canes are not sold in nearby stores. In 2010, Paco could only afford to take home one cane to give to a woman in nearby Guadalajara.
 
By the time he was ready for another trip home in May 2016, Paco’s situation had changed. His manufacturing job at Envision meant his family wasn’t living paycheck to paycheck. Between the canes he bought and those donated by his co-workers at Envision who knew the importance of what he was doing, he collected a total of 20 canes to distribute. 
 
He plans to go to Mexico again in April 2017 to give away canes, audio recorders, Braille supplies, Braille watches and games to as many people as possible in neighboring towns and schools – all purchased with his $10,000 gift.
 
Paco is an Envision success story. Providing employment opportunities for people who are blind or visually impaired and giving them the confidence and tools they need to achieve their goals is what our organization is all about.