Children are often recipients of New Eyes For The Needy’s eyeglass
vouchers. Here, a boy gets his vision checked with his new prescription
New Eyes’ glasses.
The organization, which operates
with 200 adult and 55 student volunteers plus a small staff, operates
both in the U.S. and abroad.
For its U.S. Eyeglass Program, in
2012-2013, donors helped 6,634 people in 47 states to see clearly
through New Eyes’ voucher program. Of these, children were the
recipients of 10 percent of the glasses, while adults and seniors
received the rest.
Glasses recycled through New Eyes
traveled to 30 countries last year. Through programs such as Feed The
Children and Unite for Sight, New Eyes gave away nearly 195,000 pairs of
recycled eyeglasses overseas to people in developing countries. Since
its inception in 1932, New Eyes has improved the eyesight of more than
7,500,000 people in the U.S. and around the world.
In addition to the generous
donations of local organizations, foundations and volunteer events, New
Eyes entered into a major new partnership with Costco recently. With the
formalization of the new partnership this past summer, New Eyes
received their first shipment of over 5,000 used eyeglasses from Costco
warehouses throughout the U.S. as well as the donation of lensometers
used to determine eyeglass prescriptions. Costco is also actively
recruiting affiliated eye doctors to perform free eye exams for
New Eyes provides eyeglass vouchers for qualified recipients in the U.S.
The group is seeking more ECPs to volunteer their services to provide
Actor Jake Gyllenhaal is a high visibility ambassador for New Eyes. He
received a surprise eyeglass donation here on a recent visit to Queen
Latifah’s national morning TV show.
Denise Mogil, Costco’s U.S.
optical director of professional services, joined the group’s advisory
board this summer. She told VM, “This is a fantastic organization, doing
great things to expand access to eyeglasses for so many people in need.
We are looking to help them expand awareness of New Eyes and hope that
more eyecare professionals and companies will become involved, as their
goal is to develop even further nationwide. We’re also very excited
about their involvement as the beneficiary of the EyeRock concert in New
York in March.” (See Box, this page).
Among other recent new projects
for the organization, Suja (www.suja.com), an organic juice drink
company, has launched a new beverage line available exclusively at Whole
Foods. One of its flavors, “24 Karat” carries the New Eyes logo and
mission on its label with $.20 of each bottle sold donated to New Eyes.
Further, this holiday season, New
Eyes is partnering with Readers.com (www.readers.com), a company owned
by One-Click Ventures. At check-out, customers will be to either make a
donation to New Eyes’ national voucher program or donate glasses for New
Eyes’ overseas program.
In 2012-13, frame, sunwear and
reader companies including Costco, Davis Vision, Safilo USA, Global
Eyeglasses LLC, Maui Jim, MoralEyes, B. Robinson Optical and Silver
Dollar Optical were among those providing donations.
However, points out Jean Gajano,
New Eyes’ executive director, the need continues around the country and
the group is particularly seeking out eyecare professionals who would be
willing to volunteer time and services to deliver the exams and
dispensers to accept vouchers for qualified recipients. As of October
21, 2013, she pointed out, New Eyes has 964 individuals on the waitlist
for eyeglass vouchers.
Actor Jake Gyllenhaal, is a
visible supporter of New Eyes. He is honorary chair of the
organization’s advisory board and served as the group’s 80th anniversary
gala ambassador last November. Just last month, Gyllenhaal received a
gift of collected used eyeglasses from Queen Latifah, when he appeared
on Latifah’s new morning show. Gyllenhaal has helped to raise the
profile of the group with other celebs.
New Eyes For The Needy is a
non-profit, non-sectarian volunteer organization classified under
sections 501(c)(3) and 509(a)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code.
March 2014 EyeRock Concert to Benefit New Eyes For The Needy
NEW YORK—The New Eyes For The Needy
organization will be the beneficiary of the March 29, 2014 EyeRock
concert, to be held at the Hard Rock Café in New York, during the
weekend of Vision Expo East.
Steve Santinelli, one of the
organizers of the EyeRock Band, said, “We are thrilled to be working
with such an exciting charity such as New Eyes. They have done so much
in helping improve vision for so many in need. The EyeRock Band’s
mission has always been focused on uniting the optical industry in
supporting a cause that improves the lives for those less fortunate than
ourselves. What better organization is there that has the tools and
energy to accomplish this goal than New Eyes?”
Added Jean Gajano, New Eyes’
executive director, “New Eyes is honored to be part of this exciting
event to benefit our mission of providing eyeglasses to those in need.
We look forward to a fun night, great music and increasing support to
help improve lives through improved vision.”
The concert is Saturday, March 29 from 9 pm-1 am. Details about the event/tickets will be posted soon. ■