Will Tantum, OD & Aislyn Hall
By Essilor USA
In 2014, Dr. Will created LOVE Eye Care in an effort to help a classmate of his from optometry school who was opening a mission clinic in rural Guatemala. As he took over his practice, he decided that he would donate a brand new pair of glasses to the clinic in Guatemala each time that someone purchased a frame and coined the program LOVE Guatemala. A year later he created LOVE Haiti, a program that took gently used donated eyewear and refurbished it to distribute to a clinic there. To date, the LOVE Eye-wear & Share programs have donated over 10,000 pairs of brand new and recycled glasses to their partner clinics in Guatemala and Haiti.
In 2016, it was time for LOVE Eye Care to continue to evolve and help more people. Dr. Will brought in the help of his Optical Director and Optician, Aislynn. They recognized that there were far too many people in the local area who were in desperate need of eye care and eyewear, but they had barriers to receiving this care (physical, financial, etc.). LOVE Eye Care was launched in early 2017. Through this program, people in need can apply and receive no-cost eye care and eyewear from Dr. Will’s practice. Each of the six optometrists in the practice see at least one LOVE Eye Care patient each week, and these patients never receive a bill for anything they receive. Through some incredible partnerships she created and through donating countless hours of her time, Aislynn provides amazing eyewear to each of the LOVE Eye Care patients.
In 2018, LOVE Eye Care officially became a registered nonprofit in Tennessee. The program’s mission is to provide no-cost eye care and eyewear to people in need locally and around the world. As the program has grown, it has outgrown the walls of Dr. Will’s amazing practice. The year ahead is an incredibly exciting time for LOVE Eye Care. Through the incredibly generous support of several key partners, LOVE Eye Care is slated to open its first free-standing, no-cost eye care clinic in Blount County, TN. The clinic will be operational several days each week, and the doctors and staff who work there will be donating their time and talents to serve their neighbors in need. The facility aims to be a modern, clean space where people can come and be treated with respect as they receive top-notch vision care and eyewear. Patients of LOVE Eye Care will never receive a bill thanks to the partnerships Dr. Will and Aislynn have formed. 2019 will also oversee the launch of LOVE Little Eyes. This program’s goal is to provide a no-cost comprehensive eye exam and eyewear to every child in Blount County, TN by the time they reach second grade.
Dr. Will and Aislynn are truly amazing people. They have an unwavering passion to help people who otherwise could not help themselves. They do it because they love serving the world around them with the gift of vision!
-Submitted by Lloyd Tantum