LOOKING BACK – NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016

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1. VSP Global provides education, eyecare and eyewear to those in need through Eyes of Hope. Through Eyes of Hope: A Million More initiative, it partnered with the U.S. Conference of Mayors to provide adults and children with no-cost eye exams and glasses in mobile clinics in 10 cities.

2. Essilor Vision Foundation has administered 863,051 vision screenings and provided 313,735 pairs of eyeglasses since 2008. On World Sight Day, Oct. 13, EVF and Essilor of America hosted Kids Vision Fest in Dallas, where more than 400 students received eye exams and eyeglasses.

3. Prevent Blindness aims to prevent blindness through education and research and advocates for public policies that expand access to vision care. Prevent Blindness held its 11th annual “Eyes on Capitol Hill” advocacy day in July where it met with elected officials regarding funding for various programs and research.

4. New Eyes for the Needy purchases new eyeglasses through a voucher program for those in need across the U.S. and recycles donated glasses to distribute in developing nations. In addition to its annual “Eyes Rock” concert held during Vision Expo East, New Eyes for the Needy instituted the 20/20 for 2020 campaign in September to raise $1 million and collect one million pairs of used glasses to distribute overseas by 2020.

5. Optometry Giving Sight provides and establishes sustainable vision care in regions and countries where care doesn’t exist. This year it is working with other partners to establish the first optometry school in Haiti, a country with only three optometrists and six ophthalmologists, according to the organization.

6. Orbis equips developing nations with skills and resources to deliver quality eyecare. In September, Orbis held a training program in Shenyang, China, aboard its Flying Eye Hospital, a state-of-the-art mobile ophthalmic teaching hospital aboard an MD-10 aircraft donated by FedEx.

7. VOSH International provides short-term and sustainable vision care and initiatives. VOSH worked with other organizations to establish an optometry school at the National Autonomous University in Managua, Nicaragua. Its first class graduated in June.

8. OneSight provides vision care around the world using short- and long-term solutions. It has delivered free vision care to nine million people in 46 countries. In August, OneSight launched “Focus on Sight,” a grant program to fund six school-based vision centers in the U.S. in 2017.

9. Optometry Cares-The AOA Foundation runs programs such as InfantSEE and VISION USA and administers Optometry’s Fund for Disaster Relief, which provided support to optometrists whose practices were affected by flooding in Louisiana this summer.

Lighthouse Guild
provides comprehensive care for those who are blind or visually impaired. In partnership with the Royal National Institute of Blind People, Lighthouse Guild produced a series of online panel discussions on topics relating to blindness and low vision.

Lions Club International Foundation builds sustainable eyecare systems to underserved communities. SightFirst, its grant program, has awarded more than $33 million since 1993 to support distribution of medicine to treat river blindness. In September, the World Health Organization verified the elimination of river blindness in Guatemala.

Unite for Sight partners with local eye clinics to deliver long-term eyecare to those living in extreme poverty. It has provided eyecare to about 1.9 million people and supported more than 93,000 cataract extractions by local eye clinic partners to date. Unite For Sight hosted its annual “Global Health and Innovation Conference” in April.

This is not a comprehensive list, as many organizations and private companies are committed to helping those in need of eyecare and eyewear.

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