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It always feels good to be a part of something larger than yourself. I bet you didn’t know that just by getting the glasses you need, you can be helping others in need get glasses, too. In fact, several vision companies are helping give back to the global community, with a mission that someday no one who needs it will have to go without vision correction. Check out these four vision companies that give back and what they’re doing to make the world a better place.
Most people know that when you buy TOMS shoes, a pair of shoes gets donated to a child in need. But did you know that Toms does the same with eyewear?
The basis of TOMS giving is one-for-one – each time you purchase a pair of glasses from TOMS, one person in need will get a full vision exam and the treatment he or she needs. So far, TOMS has helped over 300,000 people get the vision care and correction they need.
Besides providing prescription glasses, TOMS also has helped bring sight-saving surgeries and medical eye treatments to people in need. This kind of care goes to people who need treatments like cataract surgery, or treatment for eye inflammation, infections, or trauma. Whether they just need a pair of glasses or more involved medical treatment, by helping them regain their sight TOMS gives patients the empowering gift of independence.
Not only can you help restore vision to a person in need, but when you buy TOMS eyewear you know that your purchase has a global impact. TOMS currently works with 14 giving partners in more 13 countries around the world to bring vision care to patients. Your purchase could make a difference thousands of miles away from you. That’s some powerful stuff!
VSP Direct is a part of VSP Global, a company that is a part of several initiatives aimed at improving vision care worldwide. First of all, there’s a very easy way you can help kids in the USA who are in need of vision care, through VSP Direct’s Eye Give Back program. All you have to do is sign up for an individual insurance plan (as low as $17/month) and VSP Direct will provide a child in need with a vision exam and free glasses.
In addition to Eye Give back, VSP Global also runs a global program, Eyes of Hope. Eyes of Hope has a simple goal – help people all around the world access the vision care they need. Eyes of Hope gives back to the global community in 6 main ways: a charitable fund, eyewear donations, mobile eye care clinics, eye care gift certificates, education, and VSP Global employee giving.
The Eyes of Hope charitable fund is what made VSP Global’s We See Child Eye Health project possible in South Africa. The goal of the project is to reduce uncorrected vision impairments in Soweto schoolchildren by 90%. Because of the We See project, 30,000 children will have access to free vision care and glasses if needed.
What does all this mean for you? You’re probably not ready to pack your bags and head to South Africa, but it does mean that if you get your vision plan through VSP Direct you’re supporting one vision company that gives back – you’re part of something larger.
When it comes to shopping for glasses online, EyeBuyDirect.com is another good choice that gives back to the global community. They estimate that around the world, over 2.5 billion people are in need of vision care and correction. The company makes regular donations to non-profits that share their mission of making sure that every person in the world who needs vision care gets it.
One of EyeBuyDirect’s main partners is the Lions Club. EyeBuyDirect has worked with the Lions Club since 2011. So far, the partnership has been able to donate over 30,000 pairs of glasses. The Lions Club also provides services like vision screening and eyeglass recycling in communities in need.
Besides their work with the Lions Club, EyeBuyDirect also works with Feed The Children in Oklahoma, donating thousands of eyeglasses each year for children in need.
Giving on a large scale isn’t as simple as just handing someone what they need. In fact, in a world with so much inequality, oftentimes it’s empowerment that people really need, and not physical objects. Warby Parker, one of the most popular online glasses retailers, takes this idea into account in their philanthropic efforts.
Instead of just giving free vision exams and glasses to people in need, Warby Parker uses money from your glasses purchase to help people help themselves. Each month, Warby Parker tallies up the number of glasses sold and makes a corresponding donation to one of their partners to cover the cost of that many glasses.
Then, the nonprofit trains men and women in developing countries to give basic eye exams and sell glasses in their community. Finally, these men and women are able to provide for the basic vision care needs of their communities on their own. So far, Warby Parker has helped distribute over 1 million pairs of glasses to people in need around the world.
This is a much more sustainable model for giving, and puts the power for improving community vision in the hands of communities themselves. So when you buy your glasses from Warby Parker, not only do you get to take advantage of their great home try-on policy, but you can also feel good knowing that you’re helping make the world a bit of a better place.
Next time you need to get new glasses or sign up for vision insurance, make sure you choose one of these companies that give back. Spread love, and clear sight!