By Stephanie Settle
Many Canadian optometric companies do more than manufacture and sell glasses; they also provide their funds and skills to sight-related charity projects. As we recognize the eye health of kids in our July/August issue of Optical Prism, here are a few companies in the eye industry who take this important cause around the world.
Hoya Vision Care’s “Eye-M-Growing” program, HOYA gives children up to 13 the opportunity to replace their lenses for free within 15 months of their original order.
This program ensures that children’s changing prescriptions, and likelihood to damage their glasses do not cause an unnecessary financial burden for their families.
Additionally, Hoya sponsors the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides Program, which provides guide dogs at no cost to Canadians with disabilities. And a in partnership with the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, Hoya participates in the World Sight Day Challenge fundraising campaign. In 2013, the money they raised through potlucks, book sales and raffles earned them the bronze award.
Meeting The Challenge
Optometry Giving Sight (OGS), the organization which runs the World Sight Day challenge has been helping people see better since 2005 In that time they have raised over two million dollars for charity in Canada alone. The money they raise goes toward projects all over the world — mostly Asia, Africa, and Latin America. In the past seven years,
OGS has spent approximately $10 million on 72 projects in 38 different countries. The team at Cooper Vision put their resources together to donate $100,000 to OGS. Employees in over30 locations worldwide participated in a global fundraising campaign and organized local activities to help raise funds for the 2013 World Sight Day Challenge. The Cooper
Companies, the parent company of CooperVision, matched all employee donations.
Plastic Plus Ltd. is another lens manufacturer that is deeply involved in philanthropic outreach such as working with Canadian Vision Care (CVC).
Since 1981 CVC volunteers have provided primary eyecare (eye exams and glasses) and surgical care to hundreds of thousands of individuals around the world. CVC is proud to
have created a structure where the 3 O’s (Optometry, Ophthalmology, and Opticians) work together to deliver integrated care in the developing world.
Companies, students and practitioners regularly visit small towns around the world, where they provide refracting and fitting services to people who would otherwise have been unable to get the glasses they need.
Gaining Access To Care
The gold award for the 2013 World Sight Day challenge went to Essilor Canada, which provides free lenses to children through the Eye Diseases Foundation’s Join and See visual screening program.
They have been involved in the program since 2006, which aims to identify children with vision disorders. Essilor supplies lenses free of charge if the families identified by
the program cannot afford them. They are also involved in more than 200 Vision projects around the world including Essilor Vision Foundation which has screened more than 190,000 children since 2007.
Their Mobile Refraction Vans have screened more than 400,000 people in 2,500 villages in India bringing sight to people who would otherwise have no access to medical care.
Modern Optical has always taken eyecare of those in need to heart. The company has both developed and been apart of several initiatives. Readerwear Cares is Modern Optical’s collection of premium ready-to-wear reading glasses. Readerwear Cares is the Buy-1-Give-1 Program whereby someone in need will receive a pair of glasses when a pair of Readerwear reading glasses is purchased. Readerwear Cares works with various charitable organizations to give the gift of sight to those in need.
Does your company have a program it would like to share with readers? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to help us spread the word.