PECAA Members Helped Raise $89,194 in 2017 for Children’s Vision Projects
PECAA was delighted to welcome Optometry Giving Sight as a key partner in the Growing through Giving program, which was launched at the Annual Meeting in May of 2017.
As part of the program, Members donate a percentage of their IncentivEYES® rebate to support child eye health programs around the world that are being supported by Optometry Giving Sight. These donations were matched by Carl Zeiss Vision and PECAA.
To date, $89,194 has been raised, which is the equivalent of providing access to vision care for around 18,000 children.
These include children like Alyssa, from Mexico, who received her first pair of glasses as part of a program which last year provided access to vision care from a qualified optometrist to more than 4 million children in 13,000 public schools. Around 95% of the children accessed eye health services for the very first time. This is causing a very positive effect in improving children’s educational and developmental opportunities.
Alyssa’s response was priceless. “Everything that was wrong is in the past, nothing can stop me now!!” she says. View her story below.
Another project funded by Optometry Giving Sight in El Salvador provides vision care to more than 200,000 school-age children each year in the most disadvantaged areas of the country. Around 4% receive glasses. Access to proper eye health improves educational development, stimulates opportunities for personal growth, and helps children avoid a life of poverty.
The training of local people as degree qualified optometrists is perhaps the single most important way we can ensure that in time, underserved communities have access to high quality eye care services from within. In Nicaragua, young children like Marlon (pictured) are immediate beneficiaries. Not only did Marlon get new glasses from one of Nicaragua’s first ever locally trained optometrists, but knowing that he could now read his notebook put the smile back on his face.
It is a similar story in Haiti, where the newly established School of Optometry welcomed its first 17 students in November 2017. When these students graduate in 2022 with their Bachelor of Vision Sciences, they will be placed in public hospitals and clinics around the country and will provide desperately needed eye care services to the country’s 10 million people, 50% of whom are under 18 years of age.
Even in the USA, there are an estimated 12 million children who are needlessly vision impaired. This is a critical time in a child’s development with as much as 80% of all learning being through the visual system. Failure to detect and correct vision problems can impact a child’s educational attainment and social development.
Which is why Optometry Giving Sight was delighted to help fund the Houston Health Department’s “See to Succeed’ vision clinic in late October, which provided vision care to 1,883 socially disadvantaged children. Many of these were from schools that were directly impacted by Hurricane Harvey. The clinic ensured that they weren’t further disadvantaged by vision problems at school.
Optometry Giving Sight is also a key supporter of a global campaign called Our Children’s Vision, which seeks to ensure that more than 50 million children gain access to the vision care they need by 2020; and that parents, practitioners and policy makers are actively involved in raising awareness around the causes and treatments of myopia, which is estimated to affect 5 billion people by the year 2025.
Eric Anderson, Senior Director of Development at Optometry Giving Sight, explains that strides like these would not be possible without the support of sponsors or partners like PECAA. “We would like to thank everyone at PECAA, as well as Carl Zeiss Vision, for their generous support of the Growing Through Giving Program. We look forward to continuing the partnership again in 2018.”
Interested in Participating in the Program?
Growing Through Giving is designed to give Members an easy way to support charitable projects within the optometric community while also providing a simple and effective method to grow their practice through cause-related marketing and branding.
Participation in the program is an investment in your practice, as all participating Members have the option of utilizing a comprehensive digital and physical marketing toolkit, provided by PECAA’s strategic marketing vendor partner, Innexus. This cause-related marketing will help promote the practice’s social responsibility within the community.
The first 150 Member practices to sign up will receive the exclusive digital marketing toolkit for free. *If your practice uses Innexus, the digital toolkit can be customized and automatically administered for you throughout the year.
To Sign Up:
Sign up to donate 5% or 10% of each of your 2018 IncentiveEYES® rebate checks (for the average PECAA Member, this is roughly $100 per quarter)
PECAA and Premier vendor partner ZEISS have agreed to combine efforts to match the donations of the first 150 Member practices to sign up for the program.