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Press Release: EnChroma Partners with RestoringVision

partnership

EnChroma Partners with RestoringVision to Distribute Glasses to People in Need Worldwide
– Program Will Help Those in Need Receive Glasses to Correct Vision Issues –

Berkeley, CA – October 13, 2016 – Today, on World Sight Day, EnChroma – the company bringing color to the color blind – announced a partnership with RestoringVision to distribute glasses to people in need. Through EnChroma’s new “See the Difference, Make a Difference” program, for each pair of EnChroma eyewear purchased EnChroma will sponsor the donation of a pair of glasses to someone in need through the non-profit RestoringVision.

Nearly 2.5 billion people worldwide suffer from uncorrected vision impairment. Over 500 million people simply need reading glasses, but live in developing countries with limited or no access to glasses. RestoringVision provides glasses to those without access. Glasses can instantly and dramatically change people’s lives, enabling them to work, read and perform daily tasks again, and to provide for themselves, their families and their communities.

“People who buy EnChroma glasses will be pleased to know that in addition to helping someone color blind see colors better, their support will also help a person in a part of the world where getting pair of reading glasses is life changing,” said Andy Schmeder, CEO of EnChroma. “EnChroma shares RestoringVision’s goal of making all visual experiences more accessible to everyone, and we are proud to support their work.”

EnChroma glasses contain a proprietary spectral filtering technology that is designed to help people with red-green color blindness see an enriched spectrum of color – without compromising color accuracy or balance. One in 12 men (8%), and one in 200 women (.05%), are color blind; an estimated 300 million worldwide. While color blindness is often considered a mild disability, studies estimate that two-thirds of color blind people feel it is a significant handicap.

“We are thrilled to welcome EnChroma as a corporate sponsor, and grateful for their support,” said Mark Sachs, RestoringVision’s founder. “The goals of both organizations are closely aligned as we both work to improve people’s vision and lives. Through this unique collaboration our companies will be able restore sight while bringing color to life!”

Since its inception in 2003, RestoringVision, a non-profit based in San Rafael, California, has helped over six million people see clearly again. Last year, the organization distributed a record 2.5 million glasses, up from 480,000 in 2014.

For more information about this partnership, click here.

About RestoringVision
RestoringVision distributes reading glasses and sunglasses glasses to more than 1,400 charitable partners that serve people in need in 116 countries. Reading glasses can significantly change the lives of people with poor vision who are unable to see close up, read, maintain job, or remain a productive member of their community. Sunglasses are an important preventive tool in fighting corneal and cataract damage from excessive exposure to UV light. Cash donations, corporate sponsorships and donations of new readers and sunglasses from eyewear companies make this effort possible. For more information, visit: www.restoringvision.org.

About EnChroma
EnChroma is dedicated to positively impacting the lives of the estimated 300 million people worldwide with color vision deficiency. EnChroma has developed a robust line of innovative eyewear products with cutting-edge optical technology for men, women and children. Based in Berkeley, California, EnChroma emerged from a National Institutes of Health SBIR grant designed to study the feasibility of helping people with color vision deficiency (CVD). To reach us please call 510-497-0048, email info@enchroma.com or visit enchroma.com.

RestoringVision & World Sight Day: Bringing Clear Vision to All

screen-shot-2016-10-12-at-4-09-35-pmToday we celebrate the World Sight Day (WSD)! This is an international day of awareness dedicated to focusing attention on the global issue of avoidable blindness and visual impairment. WSD is coordinated by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB).

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) up to 80% of cases of blindness are avoidable, either resulting from preventable conditions (20%) or are treatable (60%) so that sight is restored. Uncorrected refractive error (URE) is the leading cause of vision impairment and the second leading cause of avoidable blindness. URE, including the conditions myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism and presbyopia, can have a major impact on the health of a person when left untreated, reducing educational and employment opportunities that often lead to poverty.

At RestoringVision, we focus our efforts on providing reading glasses, which assist with two types of URE: Presbyopia and hyperopia (or farsightedness). An estimated 544 million people simply need non-prescription, reading glasses to correct their vision, but live in developing countries where there is limited or no access to glasses.

This video is part of our video series Stories of Hope from Around the Globe. It shows how eye care is needed everywhere in the world.

The theme of the World Sight Day this year is “Universal Eye Health”, focusing on eye care for all. RestoringVision believes that to provide eye care to every person in the world, especially to people in need, it takes a village, a community of like-minded organizations and individuals working together to bring clear vision to those who don’t have access. Since 2003, we’ve partnered with more than 1,400 charitable organizations who have reached over 6 million people living in places where eye care and vision correction are either inaccessible or unaffordable.

As the WHO declares, the right to sight can and must be fulfilled. We can all do something to make eye care accessible to every person in the world. You, too, can play an active role. There are many ways to become involved and help:

  • Raise awareness: Vision impairment is one of the greatest global health issues that few recognize. Let others know that there are millions of people who cannot see clearly and lack access to glasses and eye care. Because of this, they cannot go to work, care for their children or keep up with their daily activities.
  • Volunteer: There are many organizations with which you can volunteer to bring clear vision to disadvantaged people. If you are already part of a group or a non-profit, add eye care to your current programming.
  • Support eye care groups and organizations: Support non-profits and groups dedicated to solving eye health problems by becoming a donor or sponsor.

At RestoringVision, we make it easy to become part of the solution.

  • Take glasses on your next trip to a developing country.
  • Becoming a sponsor by adding a charitable component to your business.
  • Donate today. Every dollar you contribute is converted into a pair of glasses to someone in need.

We are stronger together. If we all do our part, we can make a major difference in the lives of millions of people living with vision impairment by giving them the Gift of Sight!

The 6th Episode of Stories of Hope from Around the Globe is Out!

We are exited to launch the 6th episode of Stories of Hope from Around the Globe!

The sixth episode in the series is “Bringing Joy to the Most Humble” featuring Changing Lives Together – CLT Inc., a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to providing sustainable economic development for impoverished communities in rural Ghana. In this episode Lawrence Kumi, National Ghana Director of CLT, describes the conditions in which the inhabitants of these communities live. He also describes the joyful reactions of the beneficiaries when they received their new reading glasses and were able to see clearly once again.

This is a moving episode that shows that there is much more that we can do, not only to restore sight, but to restore hope and make a positive difference in the lives of people in need.

Watch the 5th Episode of Stories of Hope from Around the Globe!

This week we launched we launched the fifth episode of our video series “Stories of Hope from Around the Globe”. This episode is a little different than previous episodes. This one is about getting the glasses ready for shipment.

In this episode we feature the amazing work that our partners at Becoming Independent (BI) do to sort, pack, and ship our glasses. Becoming Independent is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping adults with developmental disabilities. One of the main aspects of their program is to provide meaningful work opportunities for the people they serve.

This is a wonderful story told by JayJay Rico, BI’s Community Engagement Ambassador. JayJay shares that since partnering with RestoringVision in 2004, Becoming Independent has shipped an estimated 1.7 million glasses. Thanks to their support, 1.7 million people’s lives have been impacted!

At RestoringVision we are grateful and honored to be working with such a wonderful organization!

 

We Have Reached 1500 Page Likes on Facebook!

07-15-16

We are so happy that our Facebook page has reached a milestone! We just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who follows us on our website and social media and takes an interest in what we do. We really appreciate all the support you give and every kind word.

We hope to reach more and more likes on our Facebook page so more and more people become aware that there are MILLIONS of people who cannot see clearly due to the lack of access to reading glasses. We believe that the more effort we put into spreading the word, the more people will become involved and help.

Thanks again to all of you for liking our page, liking our posts, and sharing your photos and testimonials with us. Your support is a daily incentive!

Love,
RestoringVision

The 4th Episode of Stories of Hope from Around the Globe is Out!

Great news! Today we are launching the forth episode of our video series “Stories of Hope from Around the Globe” featuring the work of the World Cataract Foundation (WCF). WCF is a non-profit dedicated to helping the world to see by eliminating blindness caused by cataracts.

In this episode Lori Hudson, Executive Director of WCF, discusses the amazing work that the organization and its volunteers do by restoring sight through cataract surgeries and the distribution of glasses.

For more information about the World Cataract Foundation, please visit: http://www.worldcataract.org

Watch the 3rd Episode of Stories of Hope from Around the Globe!

Today we are launching the 3rd episode of our video series “Stories of Hope from Around the Globe”. In this episode we feature our partner, YWAM Ships Kona, a mission organization that uses medical and training vessels to reach some of the most isolated areas of the Pacific and Caribbean. The episode shows the voyages and adventures of this great organization as it brings the Gift of Sight to those in need. It also shows that no matter where you go in the world, there is always a need for reading glasses and sunglasses.

This effort was made possible through the generous support of America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses, a retail division of National Vision Inc. In 2015, America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses sponsored 10,000 glasses that went out to the sea on the YWAM Ships!

Thank you to our partners for being part of these Stories of Hope from Around the Globe!

Sight For Poor Eyes: Gift of Vision Gives New Hope

Kenya 3COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (April 19, 2016) – Sight can make the difference between a life of poverty and a life of opportunity for many in the developing world. Thanks to a generous donation from FGX International and RestoringVision to Food For The Poor, the future looks a lot brighter with a gift that can help restore clearer vision.

FGX International, the maker of iconic Foster Grant® sunglasses, the oldest sunglasses brand in the United States, and the nonprofit RestoringVision have donated 475,000 reading glasses to Food For The Poor in 2015.

The nonprescription glasses and accessories were recently distributed to the needy poor in El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras and Jamaica.

“I am proud to share that FGX has provided over 4.8 million pairs of glasses to RestoringVision. Everyone at FGX should feel great about our role in changing peoples’ lives,” said Tim Swartz, FGX’s Vice President of Optical, Sport and Alternate Channels. “Poor vision is the largest disability in the world.”

“We wanted to work with Food For The Poor because (it) has a great reputation and a good distribution network to get the glasses to the people who need them,” said Mark Sachs, Founder of RestoringVision.

“We are so grateful to FGX International and RestoringVision for this donation so that the people we serve can enjoy the benefits of corrective vision that is so hard to come by in developing countries,” said Angel Aloma, Food For The Poor Executive Director. “It is especially heartwarming to know that this will help them prosper.”

The Vision Impact Institute estimates 2.5 billion people around the world suffer from vision problems that are left uncorrected because of a lack of awareness, access, and, to a lesser degree, acceptance.

Reading glasses promise clearer vision, but for the poor, they are either inaccessible or unaffordable, forcing millions to live below their potential.

Since 2003, RestoringVision has distributed 5 million pairs of glasses, partnering with more than 1,400 charitable organizations such as Food For The Poor and working in more than 115 countries around the world.

According to RestoringVision, the lack of access to glasses results in an annual loss of $272 billion to the global economy. Studies show that a pair of glasses increases productivity by 35 percent and income by 20 percent. For someone earning $2 a day, that is $140 of additional income a year, an extraordinary return on investment.

foster-grant-key“One of the great things about reading glasses is that they are easy to dispense and their impact is immediate,” said RestoringVision Founder Mark Sachs. “We’re confident that they will be very welcomed by the people receiving them and a great experience for the people who provide them.”

FGX International, based in Smithfield, R.I., is the world’s leading designer and marketer of nonprescription reading glasses and sunglasses with a portfolio of established, highly recognized eyewear brands including Foster Grant®, Sight Station®, Magnivision®, Gargoyles®, Anarchy®, Corinne McCormack®, SolarShield® and PolarEyes®.

RestoringVision, a nonprofit based in San Rafael, Calif., works to change the lives of those unable to read, maintain a job, or remain a productive member of their community because their vision is impaired and they lack access to a simple tool: reading glasses. Its mission is to distribute more than 5 million reading glasses and sunglasses annually by the end of the decade. 

Food For The Poor, one of the largest international relief and development organizations in the world, does much more than feed millions of the hungry poor in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance, with more than 95 percent of all donations going directly to programs that help the poor. For more information, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.

Thank YOU for an Exciting 1st Quarter!

A Message from the Founder:

Dear Partners and Friends,

Now that we’re well into 2016, I’d like to reflect back and also look forward.

We had an amazing 2015, thanks to you! Some stars aligned and events happened that allowed us to distribute 2.5M pairs last year (and 5M since we started). It would be quite a feat to replicate that number this year. But we are still doing our best to positively impact people in the developing world. And who knows? Maybe we will hit 2.5M again.

04.25.2016

In order to continue to provide you with the best options for delivering glasses, we’ve made a few changes that I’d like to explain to you. I think they are all good and will help you be even more effective when you take glasses on your mission trips.

We’ve consolidated the different reader powers into 5, instead of 10, groups. Up to now, glasses have been labeled and packaged as +1.00, +1.25, +1.50, +1.75, etc. That’s a lot for you (and us) to keep track of and difficult for our sorting and packing facilities as well. What we’ve now done is combine adjacent powers into LOW (which includes +1.00 and/or +1.25), LOW-MEDIUM (which includes +1.50 and/or +1.75), MEDIUM (including +2.00 and/or +2.25), MEDIUM-HIGH (+2.50 and/or +2.75) and HIGH (+3.00, +3.25 and/or +3.50).

  • We’re noting this change on the website where the different pre-packs are described.
  • This should make your dispensing table more manageable as well.
  • Remember, for a patient, there is virtually no difference in a + or -.25 power change. They just move the item 1-2” closer or further away.

As some of you have undoubtedly noticed, we’ve updated our website. I think it looks great and should be easier for you to navigate. I particularly like the map showing impact around the world.

  • It also includes information on becoming a sponsor with us. Being a sponsor means underwriting the cost of glasses that we provide to a non-profit or clinic in the developing world. We have several sponsors now and are always looking for other companies that want to make a significant impact.
  • We’re a few weeks away from a new ordering process. I’m confident you’ll find it easier and more user-friendly.
  • We’ve added a new 1,000 pair package at a price of $.45 plus $.07 shipping. That’s about a 15% discount. We hope you can take advantage of this.

We’ve started featuring video testimonials from some of our partners. The first two are linked below. We’re going to put one out each month. So, look for them on our Facebook page and website. I think it’s a great way to highlight the great work our partners are doing. Keep sending in your trip reports and pictures. Maybe yours will be featured!

I think an important point to mention is that we are doing all of the above to make RestoringVision work better for YOU. And, ultimately, for the millions of people around the world who need reading and sunglasses. Please give me feedback on what you think is working and where we can make improvements. (mark@restoringvision.org).

As always, thank you for your support.

Mark Sachs, Founder, RestoringVision.org

Stories of Hope from Around the Globe: