Vision Source Raises $500K Toward $1 Million Goal to Fund Haiti's First Optometry School

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KINGWOOD, Texas—Working toward a $1 million goal to help underwrite the building of Haiti’s first optometry school, l’Université d’Etat d’Haiti, Vision Source has currently raised in excess of $500,000. This was achieved through donations of Vision Source member optometrists, patients, employees and matching funds from Essilor, which announced its intent to purchase the Vision Source independent optometric alliance with more than 4,000 members on July 30, 2015.

Vision Source has set a goal of raising $1 million by August of 2016 to build the first optometry school in Haiti, where a population of 10 million is served by only three optometrists. The funds will provide a significant part of the amount required to launch the school. The Million Dollar Campaign benefits Optometry Giving Sight, sponsors of yesterday’s World Sight Day, an annual global fundraising campaign that invites eyecare professionals to donate proceeds of their examinations or pursue other fundraising activities to support the international philanthropic organization.

Optometry Giving Sight was established in 2003 by the World Council of Optometry, the Brien Holden Vision Institute and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness to specifically target the prevention of blindness and impaired vision due to uncorrected refractive error.

The diverse network of independent Vision Source optometric practices support Optometry Giving Sight in a variety of ways. Many practices donate monthly, some host fundraising events centered around World Sight Day and others participate in missionary trips. The fundraising effort will continue throughout the year in order to reach the $1 million goal.

Jim Greenwood, president and CEO of Vision Source, said, “Optometry Giving Sight has been the Vision Source charity of choice for many years. This year, we have mobilized our network to build the school and related vision clinic. Raising $500K even before World Sight Day is an amazing testament to the selfless hearts of our clinicians.”

Clive Miller, CEO of Optometry Giving Sight, said, "The Million Dollar Campaign is proving to be a great way for Vision Source leadership, staff and members to take the World Sight Day Challenge and support the development of the first ever school of optometry in Haiti."

For more on what other organizations and eyecare professionals have been doing to support this year’s World Sight Day, see “Eyecare Community to Come Together and Take the World Sight Day Challenge” and “Eyecare Companies and Networks Gear Up To Support World Sight Day Challenge.” Look for more post-WSD coverage on VisionMonday.com next week.