As mentioned in the Who We Are section of the website, the name “Eyes Not Forgotten” was largely inspired by the story of Park Yeonmi's journey out of North Korea. However, other experiences also influenced the name and the desire to create the foundation.
Erik and Charles were visiting a town in Guatemala when Charles noticed a young girl sitting on a street corner; her eyes gazed into the distance.
"It’s almost hard to put into words, but when I looked over at the young girl it was as if the world around us had been placed on pause. I was entranced by her. I wanted to know what she was thinking; I wanted to know her hopes and her dreams…I wanted to know what her eyes were seeing. I feel like I was meant to be there at that very moment, to let her mere presence change my life…because it did."
This experience reminded Charles of a song that he listens to often, “Give Me Your Eyes” by Brandon Heath. However, the lyrics have taken on a different meaning after this encounter in Guatemala. Below are lyrics from the song:
“Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me your eyes so I can see,
Everything that I keep missing,
Give your love for humanity.
Give me your arms for the broken-hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach.
Give me Your heart for the ones forgotten.
Give me Your eyes so I can see.”
We use our eyes to see, but often times we might miss the people who are right in front of us that need our help. Our organization is determined not to miss those people.