While we generally reserve our focus on philanthropic endeavors within the optical community until the traditional end-of-year giving season, it became apparent that this issue of VCPN is filled with examples of eyecare professionals doing good by giving back.

With a portion of its proceeds going to the Essilor Vision Foundation, our annual KIDS + VISION supplement ultimately helps fund eyewear and eyecare for children in need. As you can see from this issue’s Guest Editorial by Essilor president Eric Leonard and the accompanying infographic, millions of children in the U.S. still lack vision correction.

Among the facts pointing to this need to improve children’s eyecare in the U.S.: More than 10 million children in the U.S. suffer from vision problems that may contribute to poor academic performance; The risk of failing one grade level is three times greater for children who have a visual acuity below 20/20 versus children with good visual acuity; In the U.S., 174,000 preschoolers struggle to see due to untreated vision problems, and this number is expected to increase by 26% by 2060.

The publication of this Guest Editorial and infographic follows Leonard’s announcement during Vision Expo East that he and Essilor will endeavor to “eradicate poor vision in one generation,” in part by partnering “with vision care providers around the country to give more access to those who need it.”

We here at First Vision Media Group are pleased to be a part of that initiative as we help by spreading awareness. (Read Leonard’s Guest Editorial here to find out how you can join in.)

Among our other philanthropic partnerships found throughout this issue are those we have with Think About Your Eyes and Optometry Giving Sight. According to recently released statistics, Think About Your Eyes’ efforts yielded 3.4 million incremental eye exams in 2017, resulting in industry revenue of $752 million. Each month in VCPN we offer the practitioners who participate in Think About Your Eyes space in the publication to share some insights and further their cause, another source of pride from our involvement.

Each year, Optometry Giving Sight hosts World Sight Day in October, when ECPs donate a portion of their proceeds to target uncorrected refractive error. Again, we’re honored to participate in this cause by spreading the word about this organization and its initiatives among our readers (see page 65). OGS even benefits through participation in Bausch + Lomb’s contact lens recycling program (see page 18).

Other ECPs doing good works in this issue of VCPN are the members of the edCFDA (eyewear designers of the Council of Fashion Designers of America). During Vision Expo East, the group sponsored Frames for a Cause with the launch of a capsule collection to benefit Fashion Targets Breast Cancer and a reception at the Selima Boutique in New York City’s Soho neighborhood. (See page 29.)

ECPs epitomize making a difference while making a living simply through the basic purpose of their profession, helping people see. And that’s not all; they are also among those with an aptitude for giving back by participating in eyecare missions throughout the world and supporting organizations like those already mentioned plus many more that we cover throughout the year.

So, no need to even wait for the traditional end-of-year season of giving; any time of year is the right time to make a difference. And in this business, sometimes it’s a matter of just doing your job.

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