The Professional Eye Care Associates of America (PECAA) is a group of wonderful people committed to not only growing their eye care practices, but giving back to the community.

Each spring, the Associates travel to a different city for their annual meeting and leave their “footprint” by supporting an area non-profit. In July 2019, PECAA representatives visited Art from Ashes and met youth from our onsite program. Hearing the youth perform—and doing a 3-minute poetry prompt themselves—gave them an instant understanding of the power of our work! As a result PECAA chose Art from Ashes to be the beneficiary of their 2020 PECAA Gives program.

Sadly, due to COVID-19, PECAA’s 2020 in-person conference at the Gaylord Rockies Resort and Conference Center was canceled. However, they continued to meet with members via virtual meetings, and PECAA members remained committed to raising money for our youth programming.

On May 1, the group virtually hosted AfA Executive Director Catherine O’Neill Thorn and Director of Programs Sarah Lanzarotta, who impressed the eye care professionals by recounting our history and expressing our passion for the transformation process. Youth poet and representative to the board of directors Kumi Avila spoke about her positive experiences at Art from Ashes when she was a student at Endeavor Academy and as a participant at on-site Phoenix Rising workshops after graduation. Kumi also performed a poem for the members, many of whom were touched by her words and her courage.

Thanks to everyone at the Professional Eye Care Associates of America (PECAA) for your love, support, and commitment to AfA’s vision!

Kumi Avila, youth poet

Kumi Avila, youth poet