Essilor Vision Foundation Makes Strides With New And Expanded Programs
By Essilor News
DALLAS – (Jan. 6, 2011) – The Essilor Vision Foundation today reports significant progress made toward its mission to help people achieve a better life through better sight. In 2010, the Foundation completed nearly 25,000 vision screenings and provided approximately 4,000 pairs of glasses to children who otherwise could not afford them.
Since its launch in 2008, the Essilor Vision Foundation has concentrated its efforts on U.S. elementary school children. In 2010, the Foundation reached new heights with its Adopt-A- School and Kids Vision for Life programs, as well as its annual Essilor Vision Foundation Golf Classic tournament fundraiser. The tournament was so successful in raising funds to help children in New York City, area programs are slated for expansion in 2011.
“The number of children who need vision care and are not receiving it is staggering,” said Audrey Reed, executive director, Essilor Vision Foundation. “With our partners, the Essilor Vision Foundation remains committed to do all we can to help all children experience the best vision possible and have an equal chance to learn and become productive members of society.”
Because of generous supporters who have provided funding and volunteers, the Essilor Vision Foundation has grown its footprint to serve eleven U.S. areas: Dallas, Austin, Carrollton, and Tarrant County, Texas, Spokane, Wash., San Jose, Calif., Forest Grove, Ore., Hyattsville, Md., New York, N.Y., St. Louis and Kansas City, Mo. Key achievements in 2010 include:
Expanded operations in Texas Schools: New programs at Everman ISD and Fort Worth ISD in Tarrant County were made possible by grants from Chesapeake Energy and the Mary Potishman Lard Trust as well as a major grant and employee volunteer support from Alcon, Inc. Alcon has pledged to increase its financial support by 80 percent in 2011, which will allow the Foundation us to create a program at Arlington ISD and to launch a pilot project near Houston.
Success in Austin schools and at the Texas Book Festival: In October 2010, the Essilor Vision Foundation provided vision screenings and glasses to students from three Austin ISD schools in need and also conducted a two-day screening clinic at the Texas Book Festival on the State Capitol grounds in Austin. This effort was made possible with volunteers from the Lions Club, the Austin Junior League and Austin ISD and with support from Dell Inc. and the Austin Community Foundation, among others.
Numerous dedicated volunteers went above and beyond their commitment, putting in many extra hours to help as many children as possible, and as a result 200 children received glasses. The demand for vision screenings was so great that Austin leaders have partnered with the Essilor Vision Foundation to plan an 18-month program to screen and help all the qualified school children in Central Texas beginning in late 2011. Austin leaders estimate that more than 25,000 school-age children in this area do not have access
to the vision services they need.
Increased Volunteer Interest: The Essilor Vision Foundation has seen a significant increase in volunteers who assist with vision screenings at schools and clinics across the country. During these screenings, a vision team visits the school to provide eye exams and glasses. Prescriptions are sent to a laboratory and then returned to the school nurse for fittings and care instructions. Many of those programs are serviced by an all-volunteer group, including doctors who take time away from their practices.
Crucial Donor Support: Many generous organizations have provided much-needed funds, supplies and services to make possible efforts of the Essilor Vision Foundation. These organizations include companies that have provided frames, such as Safilo Group and Nouveau Eyewear as well as VisionWeb, which transmits orders electronically to labs when staff is unable to make the glasses in the vision van.
In addition, the Essilor Vision Foundation will soon purchase a second vision van because of support from the Hoblitzelle Foundation (Dallas), Hillcrest Foundation (Dallas), Florence Foundation (Dallas), Martin W. & Bettie J. Halsell Foundation (Dallas) and others. Support from the Ricky Rudine Memorial Fund of Communities Foundation of Texas, the Moody Foundation (Galveston, Tex.), the Page & Elisabeth Johnson Fund of Communities Foundation of Texas and the Dallas Mavericks Foundation will allow the Essilor Vision Foundation to continue programs in Dallas ISD and Carrollton-Farmer’s Branch ISD (Dallas County).
“The efforts of our staff as well as hundreds of volunteers, supporters and other cooperative groups have made great strides, but still fall short of meeting the need in the U.S. alone,” said Ed Fjordbak, president and CEO, Essilor Vision Foundation. “We encourage others across the industry to join us as we try to help children see the world more clearly.
To make a donation via PayPal or to learn more about the Essilor Vision Foundation and its programs, including details of upcoming events, tips for families and vision facts, please visit essilorvisionfoundation.org.
About Essilor Vision Foundation
Essilor Vision Foundation is a public non-profit charity established by Dallas-based Essilor of America, the leading
manufacturer of optical lenses in the United States. The foundation’s mission is to eliminate poor vision and its lifelong
We strive to give children a brighter future by helping them see the world more clearly. Our programs focus on improvi ng the quality of school vision screenings so fewer children slip through the cracks, providing eye exams and eyeglasses to children who would not get them otherwise, and educating parents and communities about the importance of children’s vision care and the role it plays in literacy, society, and the economy.