In Partnership With More Than 1,400 Humanitarian Groups in Over 115 Countries, RestoringVision Changes Lives.
(SAN RAFAEL, Calif.—April 11, 2016) RestoringVision today announced it has distributed 5 million pairs of reading glasses and sunglasses in developing countries, an astounding milestone reached in the organization’s short 13-ˇyear history, with more than half of distribution occurring in just the past two years. Partnering with more than 1,400 humanitarian groups in more than 115 countries, the organization’s mission is to give “the gift of sight” to people who would otherwise lack access or resources.
“We provide new, high quality, affordable readers and sunglasses for medical, vision, faith-based, and general philanthropic groups,” said Mark Sachs, Founder of RestoringVision. “There has been a paradigm shift in how we work that’s increasing our outreach. Short-term mission trips have been our base. But we’ve recently moved to supplying permanent clinics, resulting in astounding growth. From 2014 to 2015, we increased distribution from 500,000 to 2.5 million.”
RestoringVision works directly with permanent clinics and global health organizations operating in Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, Haiti, Ukraine, Peru, South Sudan, Uganda and more. The organization has also partnered with several large humanitarian organizations including Food For The Poor, Catholic Medical Mission Board, AmeriCares, Mission to the World, VOSH and the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation.
“This year has set us up for having a much greater impact around the world. We’re tapping into the worldwide need for these glasses. We are working with more groups and on a larger scale. It’s really gaining momentum,” said Pelin Munis, Executive Director of RestoringVision. “Providing glasses and sunglasses is an easy, inexpensive, and rewarding way for humanitarian groups to dramatically change lives.”
Cash gifts, sponsorships, and donations of excess inventory of new readers and sunglasses from a variety of eyewear companies make this effort possible.
“We are extremely grateful for the support of all our partners, including FGX International, National Vision Inc. (through its America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses brand) and Walmart,” said Sachs. “Additionally, EyeCare Partners, including Clarkson Eyecare, EyeCare Associates, eyecarecenter, and Thoma & Sutton Eye Care as well as Jimmy Fairly (France), Solo Eyewear and Jonas Paul Eyewear have provided “Buy One Give One” support programs,” Sachs added.
According to the World Health Organization, eyeglasses can correct 80 percent of vision impairment. Reading glasses in particular make a significant difference for people with presbyopia (commonly called farsightedness), which usually begins around age 40. Over 500 million people in the developing world have uncorrected presbyopia.
RestoringVision works to change the lives of those unable to read, maintain a job, or remain a productive member of their community because they can’t focus close up and lack access to a simple tool: Reading glasses. Sunglasses are an important tool in preventing cataracts which develop from excessive exposure to UV light.