World Sight Day Challenge – raising funds for people in need of vision care
“It’s bad, really bad. They are not having any eye care. Not at all.”
That’s how Dr. Carl Dumas, an ophthalmology resident working at the Public Eye Hospital in Haiti described the state of eye health in his country, which has a population of 11 million people and only 3 optometrists.
Now in its 9th year, and coordinated by Optometry Giving Sight, the World Sight Day Challenge invites eye care professionals, their staff, patients, industry partners and students of Optometry to raise funds throughout September and October to help the 600 million people around the world who are needlessly vision impaired, including those in Haiti.
“Participation in the Challenge is fun and easy to do,” said Clive Miller, CEO of Optometry Giving Sight. “Whether you choose to write a check, purchase a wristband, become a monthly donor, run a practice promotion such as I Care & ShareTM, or get involved in fundraising, this is the time when the global optometric profession and industry rallies together to ensure that all people can gain access to the vision care they need.”
Mr. Miller said that fundraising activities in the practice, office or school are always a highlight of the campaign. Last year saw practitioners shaving their heads; practice staff proudly wearing their t-shirts throughout October; companies finding creative ways to engage their staff and management (having the boss wash a staff member’s car is always worth paying for!); patients happily joining in the fun, and students trying to win the coveted Global Fundraising School of the Year Award!
“The World Sight Day Challenge is an excellent opportunity for our office to let our patients and local community know that we contribute to the global cause of vision loss worldwide," said Dr. Tammy Tully of Seaside Eye Associates Vision Source® (S.E.A.), Myrtle Beach, SC.
"All of us at S.E.A. and our patients are so excited about the event and the charitable spirit that is conveyed we create an entire month of giving sight! It always brings a smile to our hearts to be able to participate in the WSDC, and we are humbled by those who choose to take the challenge along with us," added business partner Dr. Amanda Lee.
"We help people to see every day at Linden Optometry, but with Optometry Giving Sight we can help others around the world receive the eye care they need to be successful in life. We are thrilled to be a part of the World Sight Day Challenge," said Steve Linden of Linden Optometry, A P.C., in Pasadena, CA.
Optometry Giving Sight has t-shirts and wristbands for purchase and materials to help you promote your involvement in the practice, at work or at your School.
Our Hero Image for 2015:
Annie and Sonia are two of 1500 children who benefitted from a recent screening program in Cap Haitian, Haiti. Poor vision made it very difficult for them to see the teachers’ writing on the blackboard. They were identified as having astigmatism and were referred to the Vision Plus Clinic, part funded by Optometry Giving Sight, for a full examination and to obtain glasses. "Thank you for helping my daughters see the world," a grateful Mrs. Charles said after her 6-year-old daughter Sonia put on her first pair of glasses.
Optometry Giving Sight is currently raising funds to support the establishment of the first School of Optometry in Haiti, which we hope will accept its first students in 2016.
World Sight Day is an annual day of awareness held on the second Thursday of October to focus global attention on blindness and vision impairment. It is coordinated by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) as part of the VISION 2020 Global Initiative. It is supported by eye health organizations around the world – including Optometry Giving Sight - and is included on the official World Health Organization (WHO) calendar. This year’s World Sight Day is on October 8th. This year’s call to action is: Eye Care for All.
Optometry Giving Sightis the only global fundraising initiative that specifically targets the prevention of blindness and impaired vision due to uncorrected refractive error (URE) – simply the need for an eye examination and glasses.
It was established in 2003 by the World Council of Optometry, the Brien Holden Vision Institute and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness as a means of mobilizing support from the global eye care profession and industry to help eliminate the backlog of people who are needlessly blind or vision impaired – currently estimated at more than 600 million worldwide.
Optometry Giving Sight funds the development of sustainable eye and vision care projects in communities where these do not currently exist.
How donations can help:
- $50 can help provide a study kit to an optometry student
- $100 can help provide 20 people with access to an eye exam and glasses
- $300 can help to provide a child size trial frame for a community based vision center
Photo courtesy, our partners Vision for the Poor in Haiti