Costa, VSP and Optometry Cares Announce Further Hurricane Relief Efforts

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NEW YORK—As the hurricane season continues and survivors try to recover, optical companies continue with efforts to bring assistance to those affected. As VMail previously reported, the industry has provided assistance for those affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.

Costa announced the launch of an outreach effort and influencer campaign called #OneCoast, as part of its multi-step hurricane relief plan. The mission of #OneCoast is to bring relief to Costa’s coastal family and friends affected by natural disasters, the company stated.

The #OneCoast campaign includes different elements including a limited edition t-shirt, featured on Costa’s web store which will be worn by many celebrity influencers and fishing pros across the country. All proceeds from the sale of the T-shirt will be donated to the Red Cross Hurricane Relief Fund and the Worldwide Anglers Relief Fund (WARF).

A VSP spokeswoman also told VMail, that the company continues to “reach out to VSP network doctors in Puerto Rico to evaluate the support needed for local eye doctors and to ensure patients have access to eyecare.” In the meantime, she added, if doctors are aware of patients who are VSP members with eyecare needs or who have lost or damaged their glasses as a result of the hurricane, they should inform the patients to contact VSP directly at (800) 877-7195, even if the patients are not currently eligible for benefits.

Click here for more information about other ongoing relief efforts from the optical industry in Puerto Rico.

In other hurricane relief efforts, Optometry Cares—The AOA Foundation announced it has received a record number of donations from both industry and members of the American Optometric Association (AOA). Because the recent natural disasters have affected some schools of optometry, disrupting students’ lives, Optometry Cares is now offering a new program to help support those affected.

The foundation has received donations or other support from Essilor of America which donated $50,000; Luxottica Wholesale which donated $75,000, plus 100 percent of sales from one of its particular frames; CooperVision which donated $50,000 ; PERC+IVA, Vision West, Inc., and EyeCare Partners who encouraged members, employees and vendors to donate; and The Vision Council which contacted Vision Expo West attendees encouraging donations.

As of early October, Optometry Cares has received requests from more than 80 optometrists who have been affected by the recent hurricanes and thus far, are reporting damages totaling over $11,700,000. American Optometric Student Association (AOSA) members, who are automatically members of the AOA, can go here and apply for assistance by submitting an online application.

Thanks to its partner Americares, RestoringVision announced that it has also been part of the hurricane relief efforts in Texas and Florida since September. This is the first time the optical non-profit is involved in relief work at this early stage.

"Since 2015, our team has worked to enter this space, to discuss and inform global health and relief organizations about the importance of providing readers to those they serve. I think today is a testament of what we have and are continuing to accomplish,” stated Pelin Munis, executive director of RestoringVision. “We hope to continue providing this service to Americares and other relief organizations for their work in the U.S. and abroad."