Actor Jake Gyllenhaal took time away from his schedule to visit New Eyes for the Needy on May 24 to meet with volunteers and staff, but it wasn't an unusual visit for him.
Gyllenhaal's connection to the Short Hills nonprofit goes back many years. "I've had really poor vision ever since I was a little kid—my mom first took me to the doctor because I was smacking into walls—and every time my prescription changed, we gave my old glasses to New Eyes" Gyllenhaal said to InStyle magazine last year, according to a New Eyes for the Needy press release. "So when I started looking
for a cause that I had a strong visceral connection to, I thought of it and wanted to help bring awareness to its work."
"Jake has been a great advocate for New Eyes for several years now," said
Susan Dyckman, executive director of New Eyes for the Needy, in the press release. "He has been instrumental to New Eyes' fundraising through his help in gaining foundation grants—and with his celebrity, he has raised national awareness of New
Eyes by promoting our cause in magazine profiles."
Gyllenhaal, who most recently starred in "The Prince of Persia," mingled with volunteer and staff members, speaking to all and thanking them for the important work they do. He pledged to further his commitment to help New Eyes.
"Jake has agreed to chair the newly formed Advisory Committee for New Eyes," said Clelia Biamonti, board president of New Eyes, in the release. "We are lucky and happy to have Jake on our side- encouraging us and believing in the work we do."
New Eyes for the Needy has posted more photos of the visit on its Facebook page.