SAN FRANCISCO, CA (November 15, 2022) – RestoringVision, supported by generous funding from long-time corporate donor, National Vision, Inc., is launching a new program this Native American Heritage Month to serve indigenous populations in the United States. The initial program will reach 80,000 Native Americans across 10 reservations, tribes, and organizations in the U.S. with access to the vision services and eyeglasses they need to see clearly.
The program will be implemented in partnership with Walking Shield, Inc., a California-based nonprofit organization with the mission to improve the quality of life for American Indian families by coordinating programs that provide shelter, healthcare, community development, educational assistance, employment development, and humanitarian aid. RestoringVision’s programs will be implemented through existing health facilities located on the reservations.
“Indigenous populations are still today one of the most vulnerable, marginalized, and underserved groups in the United States. This Native American Heritage Month, we are proud to expand our US Program to reach indigenous people in need of critical vision services and eyeglasses,” said Pelin Munis, Ph.D., Executive Director of RestoringVision. “Access to vision services is not only important, it’s necessary as poverty rates soar to 25% across U.S. reservations, according to the National Community Reinvestment committee, and unemployment rates reach 85% in some locations, according to The Red Road. Limited funding for Indian Health Service prevents many people from accessing health services, including vision screenings and eyeglasses. With the support of National Vision, Inc., this new program will address inequities while reflecting RestoringVision’s values, especially translating empathy to action.”
The annual yearly health coverage for a Native American is approximately $1,300 compared to about $7,000 for a prisoner in a federal facility, according to a recent NPR report.
“Walking Shield, Inc. is honored to collaborate with RestoringVision on this most important effort in helping our Native American communities with this generous donation of reading glasses, technical resources, and support. These glasses will help the people we serve by giving them the ability to see in order to read, write, and more. The increased access to owning a pair of reading glasses will leave a lasting impact in so many ways, but the most important outcome is it will improve the quality of life for our Native American populations,” said Dr. John Castillo, Executive Director of Walking Shield, Inc.
Through this RestoringVision-led program, increased access to vision services will improve education opportunities, productivity, and the health and well-being of Native Americans across the country.
RestoringVision is a global nonprofit dedicated to creating equitable access to vision services and eyeglasses for individuals living on less than $2 a day. One billion people have vision impairment that could have been prevented or is yet to be addressed, 81% of which could be corrected with a simple pair of reading glasses. We address this by partnering with our unparalleled network of more than 2,500 NGOs and governments to provide life-changing vision screenings and eyeglasses to millions of people who could not access them otherwise. For more information, visit restoringvision.org.
About National Vision Holdings, Inc.
National Vision Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: EYE) is the second largest optical retail company (by sales) in the United States with over 1,300 stores in 44 states and Puerto Rico. With a mission of helping people by making quality eye care and eyewear more affordable and accessible, the company operates five retail brands: America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses, Eyeglass World, Vision Centers inside select Walmart stores, and Vista Opticals inside select Fred Meyer stores and on select military bases, and several e-commerce websites, offering a variety of products and services for customers’ eye care needs. For more information, please visit www.nationalvision.com.
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Sr. Manager of Communications and Marketing, RestoringVision
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