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 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 cheque, purchase a wristband, become a monthly donor, run a practice promotion such as I Care & Share, 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 creating ways to engage their staff and management; patients happily joining in the fun, and students trying to win the Global Fundraising School of the Year Award!

“The mission of Optometry Giving Sight is close to our hearts as eye care providers and we feel privileged to be able to do our small part to help our profession give back to society. The event is always well received by our patients and creates a fun atmosphere in the practice amongst our dedicated staff and doctors,” said Dr. Mike Rotholz of View Eye Care in Toronto, ON

“World Sight Day is an excellent opportunity for our office to gain publicity in the local community and contribute to the global cause of vision loss world wide. I feel that there is no more relevant and practical cause that I could be supporting as an optometrist,” said Dr. Kerrie Schwandt in Medicine Hat, AB

Transforming Lives:

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.

To get involved, please visit www.givingsight.org or call Corinne Waldon at 1-800-585-8265 ext 4. Optometry Giving Sight has t-shirts for purchase and materials to help you promote your involvement in the practice, at work or at your school.

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