Gentry Magazine features One Million Lights

Let There Be Light

A Bay Area-based nonprofit seeks to light up the darkest corners of our world and effect change we can all see. by Lena Dakessian

Imagine darkness. Really, close your eyes and feel the absence of light. Now, imagine the quality of your day, knowing that when the sun goes down, you’ll have to make do with the toxic carbon emissions of a kerosene lamp and a pair of strained eyes. Imagine children not being able to read and write, or women having to birth their infants into darkness, because light, a fundamental need in this our human existence, is not at their disposal.

While this may not be our reality, it’s pretty real for the some 1.6 billion children and adults living in darkness across the globe.Now imagine being able to give people light—to actually place it in their hands, and with this gift restore a community’s chance for a better life, a child’s ability to excel.Anna Sidana did imagine this, and quite vividly. Anna is a philanthropic wonder—one of the most inspired and influential humanitarians of our time. She is the full-time volunteer, founder, and CEO of One Million Lights, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with an ambitious starting goal: to distribute one million rechargeable solar lamps to some of the world’s most impoverished rural communities within the next eight years.

Read the entire article in Gentry magazine’s October 2010 issue or download the pdf.