Jan-Feb Newsletter – Thanks to YOU, We’re Off to a Great 2019!

Dear Partners and Friends,

RestoringVision is off to a great start this year, thanks to you! We are now in our 3rd year of an ambitious 4-year goal to help 20 million people see clearly by 2020. This year specifically, our goal is to reach 3.2 million people.

In the first two months of the year, 25% of orders for glasses came from new partnerships. This means that more people are learning about this global health problem and taking action to make a difference. Our partners have also shared that by adding glasses, their programs have been enriched.

This year, we have several key initiatives that we set into motion in 2018. These include our work with partner organizations in country, their local governments and ministries to develop programs that provide reading glasses to people living in rural and impoverished communities. These programs are being developed in Bangladesh, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru. We also have been focusing on growing collaborations with US based programs – both large and small and organizations conducting outreach trips. The importance of these programs is their capacity and ability to reach some of the most remote areas of the world.

Partners are at the core of what we do at RestoringVision. We know that we could never solve a global health problem of this scale by ourselves. For that reason, we rely on service delivery partners, donors, and funders to help us advance our mission to transform lives by restoring vision for millions of people in need. Thank you for being on this journey with us and for your support and contributions. We couldn’t do it without you.

Best regards,

Pelin Munis, Ph.D.
Executive Director, RestoringVision



RESTORINGVISION EXECUTIVE OUTREACH TRIP TO GUATEMALA

A RestoringVision volunteer providing reading glasses to a young woman carrying her baby.

Earlier this month, RestoringVision Director of Strategic Partnerships, Mac Humphries, visited Guatemala with two of our institutional donors: FGX International and the Shelter Hill Foundation. Thanks to our service delivery partners, Food For The Poor and Caritas of Guatemala, the group was able to experience first-hand the extraordinary impact that reading glasses have on people living in impoverished communities.

Click here to read the full newsletter and learn more about our trip to Guatemala.

Nov-Dec Newsletter – YOU Made 2018 an Incredible Year!

Dear Partners and Friends,

It’s with warm greetings that I welcome you into the new year and thank you for all that you have made possible in 2018. Last year with your support, we transformed the lives of 3,225,033 people.

As we reflect on these numbers, we remember that it was not that long ago in 2015 that we were at an inflection point at RestoringVision. We made a commitment to grow to help 1 million people in need access glasses and transform their lives through clear vision. That year, our donors and service delivery partners stepped up to the challenge and together, we grew to help 2.5 million people. Since then, we’ve continued to grow and we’re continuing to make a difference in people’s lives every day.

None of this would be possible without your commitment, dedication, and contributions. From our donors, who provide glasses and support our work, to our more than 1,400 service delivery partners, who work with us to get glasses to the people who need them most, I thank you. Simultaneously, I ask you to keep the momentum going. I’m confident that together this year, we can make even greater strides in creating access to glasses for people living in some of the most impoverished communities around the world.

As always, thank you for your partnership and support.

Best regards,

Pelin Munis, Executive Director, RestoringVision


2018 YEAR IN REVIEW

 


NEWS AND UPDATES

 

Clear Vision Collective (CvC)

RestoringVision has partnered with nine optical organizations and the Bangladesh Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for an innovative project titled the Clear Vision Collective (CvC). The goal of this project is to bring the gift of sight to people in need across Bangladesh. We anticipate that over 80% of the individuals we serve will be receiving their first ever pair of glasses through this program. Click here to learn more about this impactful initiative.

 

New Supplemental Reading Glasses Packages

We’re excited to announce that we’re offering two new supplemental reading glasses packages in an effort to better serve our partners who are serving a primarily younger or older population. These packages are the perfect add-on to your standard orders, helping you ensure that you have enough glasses for the specific needs of your trip. Our low strength supplemental package includes 100 pairs of glasses from +1.00 to +2.00 diopters. Our high strength supplemental package includes 100 pairs of glasses from +2.25 to +3.50 diopters. To order the new supplemental packages, click here.

 

 

Popular Reading Glasses Diopters are Back in Stock

Some of our most popular glasses strengths are back in stock. You can once again order reading glasses in the powers +2.25, +3.00, and +3.50. We also have a limited supply of +4.00 reading glasses available to order. Visit our shopping cart to place your 2019 orders today!

 

 

New Ways to Support RestoringVision

We’ve recently updated our website to include two new ways to give to RestoringVision. In addition to one-time and monthly donations, you can now support our mission through Legacy Giving and stock donations. Visit our Donate page to learn more

 

 


To read the full version of our newsletter, please click here.

Announcing Clear Vision Collective

We’re proud to announce that RestoringVision has joined nine eyecare organizations and the Bangladeshi Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to form the Clear Vision Collective. Through this unique partnership, we will help improve access to vision health services across Bangladesh.  

The Clear Vision Collective has established several goals for this project, including making reading glasses available for the very first time to individuals living in rural areas of the country. All this work will be done through Project DRESTI (District Refractive Error and Eye Care Search and Treat Initiative). RestoringVision looks forward to working with BRAC, Essilor, Jeeon, Dr. K. Zaman BNSB Eye Hospital, National Vision, National Eye Care, National Institute of Ophthalmology, OneSight, Orbis, VisionSpring, and the Bangladeshi Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to transform the lives of people in need through the gift of sight.  

To learn more about this impactful initiative, click here.

Deciding Where to Give: Holiday Donations for Nonprofit Organizations

Deciding Where to Give:
Holiday Donations for Nonprofit Organizations

The year-end holiday season is a time for individuals and organizations to reflect upon the past 12 months and celebrate with family and friends. As families gather around the table and organizations host events and parties, this yearly reflection generates an added spark. It inspires many to help people in need around their communities and the world

On top of this, in order to qualify for a tax deduction during the impending tax season, companies and individuals are required to make their yearly charitable contributions prior to the turning of the calendar. As a result, most individual and corporate donations happen between #GivingTuesday, or as we put it here at RestoringVision, #GivingSightDay, and the end of the year, December 31st.

For those who decide to partake in this year-end charitable giving season, it’s important to spend time researching the right nonprofit organization to donate to.  

We encourage companies and people to investigate and ensure their donations are going to charities and causes that are most important to them, their families or their organizations. 

Nonprofits Change Lives 

Every single day, millions of people around the world are in some way touched by a nonprofit organization. Whether it’s a community-based program, a healthcare program, a food program, or an educational program, nonprofit organizations build vibrant and improving communities around the world through the power of donations. 

These nonprofit organizations support health, safety, and education in communities that might otherwise lack the capability to provide it. Nonprofits are the foundation of global health and wellness to protect our planet and future generations.

While issues like hunger, AIDS, Ebola, and Malaria are rampant on the news and around the world, there are issues, such as poor vision, that have been neglected in the past, but are gaining attention in recent years, and for good reason. 

Giving the Gift of Sight 

Imagine a world in which you didn’t have access to the tools you needed to properly see.  

Vision is one of our most important senses and as humans we are extremely reliant on our ability to see, which is evident in how complex our eyes are. 

But as you read this today, over 2 billion people worldwide suffer from an uncorrected vision impairment, and of those upwards of 544 million people only need reading glasses to make the correction but live in impoverished communities lacking access to these life-changing items.  

By providing reading glasses to people in need, you will immediately influence their lives in a handful of positive ways including: 

  • HealthReading glasses make the vision correction needed for people with close range vision problems.  
  • EducationBoth children and adults benefit from near vision correction, giving adults the ability to work, read, learn, and perform daily tasks without keeping children away from school. Adults can also enter continuing education and workforce training.  
  • SafetyHaving clear & focused close-range vision is essential to safely completing hand held tasks and providing for one’s family, such as caring safely for a small child.
  • ProductivityVision correction leads to a 35% increase in productivity and 20% increase in wages. A simple pair of reading glasses gives people the ability to carry out their daily tasks, work, and lead productive lives.
  • Quality of LifeRegaining the ability to see clearly boosts the morale of individuals and allows them to become contributing members of a family or community once again.  
  • Overall CommunityBy providing glasses to impoverished communities without access, it boosts their education rate, median income, economic output, and the overall health of that community.  

Ways to Help Restore Vision This Holiday Season 

The good news is in 2018 there are plenty of ways to get involved during the holiday season, or anytime, and help restore vision to people in need around the world.  

Organizations like RestoringVision are dedicated to correcting vision and providing reading glasses to people in communities that otherwise lack access. You or your organization can join forces with us this giving season and help in three different, but effective ways.  

First, you or your organization can Become a Partner. RestoringVision has a strong network of partners who help in the distribution of glasses to impoverished communities around the globe. Our partners are the ones on the ground taking the glasses overseas and putting them on the faces of people in need. If you are a non-profit organization or mission group looking to make a difference in the world, becoming a partner with RestoringVision is a perfect fit.

Second, you can Become a Sponsor. At RestoringVision we are lucky to be blessed with an amazing group of corporate sponsors. These sponsors not only help provide access to glasses for people in need, but also help us create access to health, education, work, and a better life for these same people. If you are a corporation embarking on a corporate social responsibility program, consider working with us.

There are a variety of ways companies can become a sponsor and become involved in our mission. Our flexible and unique corporate sponsorship programs are adaptable to a company’s budget, structure, business activity, and Corporate Social Responsibility agenda. Our programs include: 

  • One for One Program: The sale of a unit of your product will result in a donation of a pair of glasses to someone in need. This is RestoringVision’s take on the classic buy one give one program. When a customer buys a product, our sponsors make a monetary donation to RestoringVision, which we then convert into a pair of glasses. 
  • Direct Giving Program: Our sponsors can make a direct cash donation that will immediately go to the purchase of glasses for disbursal. 
  • In-Kind Program: RestoringVision makes it easy for manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailer sponsors to donate their excess inventory of reading glasses or new sunglasses. 

Lastly, you can get involved by donating to our cause and helping RestoringVision empower lives by giving the gift of sight to people in need around the world. Make a tax-deductible donation today and every dollar you donate will be converted into glasses delivered to people in need. 

Remember, this holiday season while reflecting on the memories of the past year, carry on the tradition of giving. Whether you donate with your family or through your company or organization, consider helping those in need see and live better. There’s no better time to spread the spirit of the holiday season and make a lasting, positive, impact in people’s lives.   

Spreading Holiday Cheer to You and Yours!

The happiest of holidays to you. Another incredible year comes to a close. When I reflect on the accomplishments of this year and our tremendous progress towards reaching our goal of helping 20 million people see clearly by 2020, I have an overwhelming feeling of gratitude.

Gratitude that RestoringVision has been able to celebrate 15 years of helping people in impoverished communities see and live better. Gratitude for the trust and hard work of our service delivery partners who take glasses to the field. Gratitude for the generosity of our sponsors and donors who support our work. Gratitude knowing that behind every pair of glasses we provide is someone whose life has been transformed through the gift of sight.

We couldn’t have done this without you. As you celebrate with family and friends this holiday season, please take a moment to reflect on the good you have done to make the world a better place. Whether you took glasses to the field, you donated or told someone about RestoringVision and the work that we do, you made a difference. Cheers to you and best wishes for an amazing 2019!

Warm regards,

Mark, Founder, RestoringVision

Sep-Oct Newsletter: Join Us In Celebrating Giving

Dear Partners and Friends,

These last two months have been very special for RestoringVision. I celebrated our 15 year anniversary in Yucatan, Mexico, where we helped over 800 people in five villages see clearly again. The trip was especially meaningful to me as it was on a mission trip to Mexico when I first observed the significant need for reading glasses in impoverished communities. It was on that trip that I was inspired to create RestoringVision.

It was also great to see everyone participating in World Sight Day last month. Thanks to your support, we were able to bring attention to the serious global problem of uncorrected near vision impairment that affects over 500 million people who lack access to a simple pair of reading glasses.

In this month of thanks and giving, we are looking to help even more people by once again turning #GivingTuesday into #GivingSightDay with you. We hope that you will join us in raising funds and awareness. Together, we can work towards a world where every person who needs glasses has them.

As always, thank you for your steadfast partnership and support. We couldn’t do it without you.

Best wishes,
Mark Sachs, Founder, RestoringVision


NEWS AND UPDATES

Let’s Turn #GivingTuesday into #GivingSightDay!

Mark your calendars: #GivingTuesday is coming up on November 27. For the third consecutive year, RestoringVision is turning #GivingTuesday into #GivingSightDay. Our goal is to raise $30,000 to transform 40,000 lives through the gift of sight.

We hope you will join us in this celebration of giving!

Donors and supporters: You don’t have to wait until Nov. 27 to help us reach our goal. You can click here to donate now. Thanks to National Vision, Inc., the first $10,000 raised will be doubled!

Service Delivery Partners: We’ll once again have our exciting GSD promotion for you on Nov. 27. Be on the lookout for a special email with the details. In the meantime, be sure to add #GivingSightDay to your calendars.

 

Book Alert: James Chen’s “Clearly” Highlights the Impact of Reading Glasses

Poor vision is a global health problem that is just beginning to gain recognition. In his book “Clearly”, philanthropist and businessman James Chen shines light on the importance of access to glasses through testimonials of individuals affected by vision impairment.

RestoringVision is grateful to James and Vision For A Nation for allowing us to share an excerpt of this impactful case study. To read it, please click here.

 

 

 

New Dispensing Tips Manual

For all of our service delivery partners, we have created a new manual with the most useful tips that have helped our partners to successfully dispense reading glasses. To view and download this document, please click here.

 

 


To read the full version of our newsletter, please click here.

Press Release: RestoringVision Receives Shelter Hill Foundation Grant

RestoringVision Receives Shelter Hill Foundation Grant to Help 250,000 People See Clearly

SAN RAFAEL, CALIFORNIA: RestoringVision, an optical 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing new reading glasses to people in need around the world, is pleased to announce they have received a grant from the Shelter Hill Foundation.

This generous grant, made possible by Shelter Hill Foundation founders, Paul and Betsy Shiverick, will allow RestoringVision to address the global health crisis of uncorrected vision impairment in impoverished communities around the world. Over 500 million people around the world only need a simple pair of reading glasses to see clearly, but lack access to glasses. Without clear vision, they cannot effectively work, learn, care for their families, or be productive members of their communities. RestoringVision is dedicated to helping these people by providing them the gift of sight.

New support from the Shelter Hill Foundation will boost RestoringVision’s capacity to partner with other non-profit organizations to reach 250,000 people living in remote areas in developing countries where glasses are not available.

“We are pleased to support the good work of RestoringVision so that those with impaired vision can finally gain the valuable personal and economic independence that comes with a new pair of glasses.” – Paul Shiverick, Trustee, Shelter Hill Foundation

This gift from the Shelter Hill Foundation is particularly significant as it marks the first time the Shelter Hill Foundation has committed to solving vision impairment, and the first time RestoringVision has received a grant from an institution outside of the optical industry.

“This critical support from the Shelter Hill Foundation will make a substantial and immediate impact by transforming 250,000 lives through the gift of sight. Vision impairment is an urgent issue that can only be addressed through cross-sector partnerships like this.”  – Pelin Munis, Ph.D., Executive Director, RestoringVision

To learn more about RestoringVision or to get involved, please visit their website or contact them at info@restoringvision.org.

About RestoringVision
RestoringVision is a non-profit organization dedicated to distributing new glasses to charitable organizations serving impoverished people around the world. Since 2003, RestoringVision has partnered with more than 1,400 organizations and helped over 12 million people in 135 countries.

About Shelter Hill Foundation
The Shelter Hill Foundation was founded in 2005 by Paul and Betsy Shiverick. The foundation supports a range of causes including health initiatives and educational programs throughout the nation.

Press Release: RestoringVision Succeeds in GlobalGiving’s Accelerator, Becomes Recognized Partner of GlobalGiving

RestoringVision Succeeds in GlobalGiving’s Accelerator, Becomes Recognized Partner of GlobalGiving  

(October 18, 2018) RestoringVision announced today that they have graduated from the GlobalGiving Accelerator program, gaining entry into the GlobalGiving marketplace and becoming a recognized partner of GlobalGiving. As part of the Accelerator, RestoringVision successfully raised $11,492 from 82 unique individual donors to support their project, “Restore Eyesight to 20,000 Villagers.”  

“We’re thrilled to have RestoringVision as part of our community. RestoringVision has met our rigorous vetting standards for trust and community support,” said Mari Kuraishi, President and Co-Founder of GlobalGiving. “GlobalGiving donors value the opportunity to support non-profits like RestoringVision, knowing that they’ll get regular updates about how their donations are put to work.”  

“RestoringVision will transform the lives of 20,000 people who struggle with uncorrected vision impairment and are considered by the UN to be “ultra-poor” (earn less than $2/day). Through our network of non-profit partners we will reach those who live in remote areas where glasses are not available. Near vision impairment is a growing critical health and socio-economic problem with one of the easiest and most cost-effective solutions – a simple pair of reading glasses,” said Pelin Munis, Executive Director of RestoringVision. “Visit our project, ‘Restore Eyesight to 20,000 Villagers’ to learn how even $10 can make a difference: http://goto.gg/35167. We’re $3,508 away from our overall goal of $15,000.”  

About RestoringVision 
RestoringVision is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to distributing new glasses to charitable organizations serving people in impoverished communities around the world. Since 2003, RestoringVision has partnered with more than 1,400 organizations and helped over 12 million people in 135 countries.  

About GlobalGiving 
GlobalGiving is the first and largest global crowdfunding community that connects nonprofits, donors, and companies in nearly every country around the world. GlobalGiving makes it possible for local organizations to access the funding, tools, training, and support they need to become more effective and make the world a better place.  

James Chen’s Book “Clearly” Highlights the Impact of Reading Glasses

 

Chen, J. (2017) Case study v Felicien. In Clearly. Biteback Publishing Ltd. 

(Hover over the image and click on the grey arrows to read the case study.)

“I could suddenly see clearly, without struggling. … At that moment, I was happy; it made me happy and gave me hope that my life would continue.”

Poor vision is one of the biggest unaddressed global health problems that recently has been gaining more and more attention.The extraordinary book Clearly by businessman and philanthropist James Chen addresses this health crisis through the personal stories of individuals affected by vision loss. 

The story of Felicien is particularly special to RestoringVision since it is about near vision impairment. Felicien is a father of seven children living in Kigali, Rwanda, who feared his deteriorating eyesight would cause him to lose his job. Thanks to the work of Vision For A Nation, Felicien learned that he just needed a simple pair of reading glasses to restore his vision and remain a productive member of his family and community.

According to Chen (2017), Felicien’s situation is one faced by many people around the globe: If you cannot see, you cannot work or learn effectively, perhaps at all. Visual impairment is a major barrier to securing and keeping paid employment, and thus shackles the potential of individuals like Felicien and perpetuates the cycle of poverty in many nations.” 

Through our network of non-profit partners, corporate sponsors, individual donors, and supporters, RestoringVision is proud to impact the lives of people like Felicien by providing new, high-quality reading glasses to people living in impoverished communities around the world. Our vision is a world where every person who needs glasses has them, and through the increased recognition of our cause, we believe we can make that vision a reality.

Read Felicien’s full story on the slideshow above. Thank you to James Chen and Vision For A Nation for allowing us to share this impactful case study. To learn more about James Chen’s book Clearly, please click here.

Celebrating 15 Years of Transforming Lives Through the Gift of Sight

Dear Partners and Friends, 

I’m humbled and extremely pleased to see RestoringVision celebrate 15 years of service to people in need. Since our inception in 2003, we have helped over 12 million people in 135 countries to see clearly and be more productive. I’m not surprised we made it to 15 years, but the scale of the impact we have had is amazing! 

The work of our partners in the field and our dedicated staff members, along with the generous contributions from our donors and sponsors, have helped us reach this milestone. We are grateful that both new and long-time partners, sponsors, and donors have committed to transforming lives with us. 

I will never cease to be excited about the progress of RestoringVision. We are now entering a chapter where new people can build on what’s come before to make our impact even larger. I can’t wait to see what comes next!  

Best regards, 

Mark Sachs, Founder, RestoringVision