RestoringVision was born out of founder Mark Sachs’ observation and desire to help.

When Sachs was working as a Marketing Director in the optical industry, he was invited by LensCrafters to join their corporate social responsibility program on trips to Albania and Mexico. Optometrists performed eye exams while non-eyecare professionals like Sachs fitted people with eyeglasses. Witnessing the sheer need for eyeglasses and observing that more than 50% of the people served just needed a pair of nonprescription reading glasses to see clearly, Sachs returned to the U.S. and knew he had to do more. RestoringVision, the leader in addressing presbyopia, was born, and to date has now served more than 20 million people in 144 countries with access to glasses and clear vision.

Sachs’s dedication to RestoringVision continues this June as he travels to the International Rotary Convention being held in Houston, Texas June 4-8, with the goal of connecting even more people to RestoringVision’s work around the globe.

“Rotarians are people of action and doing good work,” Sachs said. “International Rotary Clubs work to find sponsors at U.S. clubs to take on projects to address critical issues. Providing reading glasses to people in need can function as an important addition to any primary Rotary project, and also as something they can bring with them when they are visiting different projects internationally as well.”

Rotary is a global network of 1.4 million neighbors, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers who see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change – aligning with RestoringVision’s own mission to empower lives by providing clear vision for millions of people in need.

Ambassador Mary Ann Peters, RestoringVision Board Member and Rotarian of Atlanta, said potential partnerships with Rotary chapters in the U.S. and abroad would strengthen both organizations.

“Rotary is one of the most influential organizations in the world and Rotarians – whose motto is ‘service above self,’ are natural partners for an organization like RestoringVision, which is engaged in solving a huge health and development problem around the world,” Peters said. “The World Health Organization recognizes poor vision as a global health issue – one that over 1 billion people suffer from – and the results of addressing it are huge. Give a person back their sight and you give them the opportunity to earn money, as a seamstress, or a farmer for instance, or to help their grandchildren with homework. The impacts are endless.”

Seán Deneny, member of the Southampton Rotary Club in New York, said it’s important for him to support RestoringVision at the Rotary Convention because he has seen the need for vision services worldwide firsthand. In 2017, Deneny and Tom Guldi, past president of the Southampton Rotary Club, attended a humanitarian trip to Cambodia. In 2019, they planned a similar trip to outlying medical camps deep in Nepal’s Himalayas.

“Many needs were identified from water and sanitation, basic education and literacy, and economic and community development,” Deneny said. “With overwhelming needs due to lack of infrastructure in these countries, we felt that focusing on one need – vision – would best serve the people there.”

With that in mind, they sponsored and purchased 14,000 reading glasses to provide to all 14 medical camps they visited in Nepal. “Our Rotarian partner in Kathmandu is now organizing dental and vision medical trips to each of these camps,” Deneny said.

The shared values between RestoringVision and Rotary make for a natural partnership.

“Rotarians are already engaged in so many efforts and working with RestoringVision would be a way for them to expand their impact,” Peters said. “It also follows up on Rotary’s commitment to addressing global health issues. Poor vision is a global problem that can benefit from Rotary’s unique service and reach.”

Are you a Rotarian interested in partnering with RestoringVision? Contact Steve Hancock, Partner Relations, at steve@restoringvision.org to get started today.