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!
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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 gainingmore and more attention.The extraordinary book Clearlyby 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 toRestoringVision since it is about near vision impairment.Felicienis 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 visionand 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 impoverishedcommunities 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.
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!
RestoringVision Celebrates 15 Years of Transforming the Lives of People in Need Through the Gift of Sight
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, celebrates its 15-year anniversary on October 2. Through their extensive network of non-profit partners, corporate sponsors, individual donors and supporters, RestoringVision has brought the gift of sight to over 12 million people living in impoverished communities in 135 countries.
The organization was founded by Mark Sachs, a former Marketing Director in the optical industry, in 2003. Mark was inspired to start RestoringVision after a life changing trip to Mexico, where he saw the need for reading glasses first hand. Mark stated, “I’m humbled and extremely pleased to see RestoringVision celebrate 15 years of service to people in developing countries. The work of our partners in the field and our dedicated team members, along with the generous contributions from our donors and sponsors, have helped us reach this milestone. I’m not surprised we made it to 15 years, but the scale of the impact we have had is amazing!”
As RestoringVision celebrates its past, it also looks to the future. The organization has set a goal to help 20 million see clearly by the end of 2020. “As we celebrate this milestone anniversary, we also look towards a bright future for RestoringVision,” said Pelin Munis, Executive Director. “We are thrilled that our cause to bring clear vision to people living in impoverished communities is gaining much needed attention and traction. Every day, more and more optical industry companies, colleagues, and individual supporters are stepping forward to help make this happen. I’m confident that together we will reach our goal and help many more millions of people in need.”
The lack of access to available, affordable reading glasses in developing countries is one of the biggest global health problems, affecting over 500 million people around the world. After 15 years of giving the gift of sight, RestoringVision is committed more than ever to its mission of empowering lives by restoring vision for millions in need. To see a video of their impact, click here.
Together we’re making great strides in improving vision care for the world’s most impoverished. Our common cause, the global problem of vision impairment, is continuing to gain awareness. In this newsletter, we highlight a new study that demonstrates the impact that reading glasses have on the lives of tea pickers in India. This study shows just how impactful is the work that you, our partners, sponsors, and donors, do every day.
As we forge forward together, we also want to look back to see how far we’ve come. We do this as we celebrate our 15 year anniversary with you! This October 2 marks 15 extraordinary years of working with you and providing glasses to over 10 million people in need. We couldn’t have achieved this without your support. To celebrate this and World Sight Day (Oct. 11), we’re kicking off a month-long fundraising campaign with GlobalGiving. We’ll also have exciting opportunities for our partners taking glasses to the field. To learn more, please read below and stay tuned.
Groundbreaking Study Shows Impact of Reading Glasses
PROSPER, a recent health intervention study, found that providing tea pickers in India with reading glasses increased their productivity by up to 32%. Increased productivity directly correlates to higher wages for the workers. This finding speaks to the meaningful impact that reading glasses have on a person’s life. To learn more about this study, please click here.
Help Us Raise $7,500 With Global Giving!
We’re excited to announce that RestoringVision has been chosen for GlobalGiving’s Accelerator program! Our first challenge is to raise $7,500 from 40 donors within three weeks. Thereafter, we will be permanently featured on GlobalGiving’s website and become eligible for additional fundraising support. With your help, we can meet this challenge and get one step closer to helping 20 million people see clearly by 2020! The challenge begins September 10 and continues through October 2 (our 15 year anniversary!).
According to new research, providing glasses to workers can increase their productivity by nearly 32%. The study, called Productivity Study of Presbyopia Elimination in Rural-dwellers, or PROSPER, was conducted with tea pickers living in India over the course of eleven weeks. All participants were diagnosed with farsightedness, or “unaided near visual acuity,” a condition that can be corrected with a simple pair of reading glasses. Researchers then provided half of the participants with a free pair of glasses and compared their productivity with the workers who did not receive them.
The results of the study showed that workers who were given glasses were able to collect over 5 kilos more tea than their peers who struggled with impaired vision and didn’t receive a pair of glasses. These results are extremely significant given the way the industry works – collecting more tea means a higher wage for the worker. The glasses not only boosted productivity and improved business, but also helped benefit the tea pickers themselves, their families, and communities.
The study states, “Delivery of glasses to older workers could be a scalable and sustainable strategy for poverty alleviation. Age-related decline in unaided near vision is essentially universal, so the pool of potential beneficiaries is large.”
Reading glasses are affordable and easy to transport to developing countries. The simplicity of this distribution model drives immediate and wildly disproportionate positive results.
Since 2003, RestoringVision has helped more than 10 million people see clearly in over 127 countries. We are striving to help 20 million people by 2020 and are proud to be a part of the solution to this global health problem with severe socioeconomic impacts.
Over the past 15 years, RestoringVision has been able to bring clear vision to more than 10 million people in impoverished communities across the world. As you know, this requires an all-hands-on-deck approach. We wouldn’t have been able to achieve this without you, our partners, who take glasses to the field and distribute them to people in need, and our sponsors and donors, who accelerate this work. To all of you, thank you!
We’ve also been working closely with optical organizations, advocacy groups, and thought-leaders to raise awareness and develop collaborations that open up access to vision care for the world’s most disenfranchised. We are thrilled that our common cause is now gaining much-needed attention and momentum and would like to share this with you. Below are some exciting updates, including recent media coverage and one of the most exciting initiatives in vision health.
At RestoringVision, we’re excited to be a part of this growing global movement with you in an effort to transform the lives of people with near vision impairment. Thanks again for all you do to support this mission!
A Simple Way to Improve a Billion Lives: Eyeglasses
This year in May, The New York Times published an article about the global need for eyeglasses on the front page of the Sunday edition. The article described the incredible impact that vision correction can have on the lives of people in need. To read the article, click here.
Groundbreaking New Initiative – Vision for the Commonwealth
This April in London, The Queens’ Diamond Jubilee Trust launched the $1 billion Vision Catalyst Fund which aims to help governments prioritize vision and address avoidable blindness and poor eyesight. The fund will focus on expanding universal eye health services led by governments, providing a sustainable long-term solution for vision across many countries.
To read the full version of our newsletter, please click here.