Man looking out the window
Man looking out the window

You can make a difference with a contribution to help us continue to support those in need

Message from David Barnwell, Executive Director of The Iris Network
I understand you may be feeling uncertain or worried about the status of the COVID-19 situation. What happens in the next few weeks may be out of our control, but one thing you can do is to support a vulnerable population through gifts to The Iris Network. Right now, your financial support is needed to help us to meet the urgent needs of people who are blind and visually impaired in our communities. 

As of April 3rd, 2020, our community and center-based staff will continue to serve clients, but under modified conditions: using technology while following CDC guidelines to continue to serve our clients in their homes throughout Maine. These technologies allow us keep in touch, visit (virtually), and continue to help them perform daily tasks and hobbies they enjoy–to continue to help them be independent in their homes


Couple reading a book

Vision loss can lead to damaging social invisibility and isolation. As one can imagine, life becomes a lot more difficult when you can't read the newspaper, see a computer monitor, drive, or walk up the stairs. This is a reality for one out of three seniors over the age of 70 with common eye conditions (such as age-related macular degeneration). Compounded with sheltering-in-place, social distancing, and quarantining to protect our elders and other vulnerable populations from the Coronavirus, it can leave many feeling depressed and lonely as well. 

We know these are difficult and uncertain times, but your donation will allow us to continue to support the most vulnerable populations. We strive to keep our employees actively working and continue to help folks who are blind or visually impaired that still need our help. Donate online at:

Thank you for your care, concern, and compassion. Together, we will ensure that people of all ages and all stages of vision loss have the support they need to stay safe and healthy through this crisis. Thank you. 

 Certified staff with consumer at the White Cane Walk for Independence
Certified staff with consumer at the White Cane Walk for Independence 

Click Here for more information on the 2020 White Cane Walk for Independence

YOUR CONTRIBUTION MAY BE TAX DEDUCTIBLE NOW! While so many nonprofits have been impacted by the Covid-19 emergency – and will continue to be for some time – there is some good news. In 2020, for those who have contributed or plan to contribute to The Iris Network, you can now get greater tax benefits from your giving. The new stimulus bill includes the following changes to charitable giving:

  • If you do not itemize your deductions, and give up to $300 to charity in a year, you can add up to $300 to the standard deduction. This is an above-the-line deduction, which means it has the added bonus of decreasing your adjusted gross income so you could qualify for other tax breaks. In order to qualify, you have to give to a qualified charity (such as The Iris Network), which does not include a donor advised charitable fund. This covers all of 2020 and the years to come. Section 2204.
  • If you itemize your deductions, for 2020 you can now deduct 100% of your charitable contributions from your adjusted gross income (up from the previous 50% cap). If you have a business, the 10% limit has been increased to 25%. This only applies to cash gifts to public charities and is not applicable to private foundations or donor advised funds. Section 2204. 
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