NEW YORK—Companies and organizations throughout the world that are dedicated to promoting vision and eye health showed their commitment to these causes with an outpouring of support on World Sight Day yesterday. World Sight Day served as a springboard for a wide range of initiatives, as VMAIL reported on Oct. 6 and Oct. 8. To mark the 20th anniversary of World Sight Day, EssilorLuxottica deployed numerous initiatives across the world, including awareness campaigns, art collaborations, vision screenings and donations of glasses, accelerating the company’s efforts to raise awareness around the importance of eyecare.
(L to R) Edward Plumacher, adapted technology specialist at Lighthouse Guild's Assistive Technology Training Center and client Suleiman Rifai. On World Sight Day, the Center received a $10,000 gift from the Bausch Foundation to purchase new computers to train people with vision loss for work, school and daily living.
Credit: Lighthouse Guild
EssilorLuxottica said it is doubling its efforts on World Sight Day, despite the obstacles that make it much more challenging to run programs on the ground due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Paul du Saillant, CEO of Essilor, and Francesco Milleri, vice-chairman and CEO of Luxottica said, “Today on World Sight Day, we celebrate the very purpose of EssilorLuxottica and its founding mission of helping people see more, be more and live life to its fullest. The wide range of activities deployed by our teams today to reach millions of people is a testament to the dedication of our people to bring this mission to life every day. It also showcases the incredible impact we can have together, and the full potential we will be able to deploy as one single company going forward."
Both Essilor and Luxottica have launched global awareness campaigns that will engage employees and reach millions of consumers all over the world. These initiatives include:
- Essilor’s worldwide campaign to promote consumer awareness around blue-violet light and UV rays exposure, the need for regular vision screening and the use of appropriate eyewear for indoors and outdoors. As an important element of this digital campaign, Essilor has revamped its dedicated website www.putvisionfirst.com for consumers.
- A campaign by Luxottica's optical retail brands LensCrafters in North America, Salmoiraghi & Vigano in Italy and OPSM called Your Eyes First. The campaign’s long-term goal is to emphasize the importance of eyecare over time by creating important art collaborations and illustrations on the subject that can be enjoyed and shared in the physical and digital worlds.
- A customer-facing fundraising campaign launched by Essilor and Luxottica through approximately 60 LensCrafters stores in China.
A partnership between the Essilor Vision Foundation (EVF) and local eyecare hospitals in India to conduct free vision screening camps for around 4,000 underprivileged individuals.
- A collaboration between Essilor’s U.S. subsidiary, FGX International and actress Kat Graham, who pledged her support of World Sight Day with posts on her social media platforms promoting eye health as a priority amongst millions of people.
- A program from OneSight, the independent non-profit organization founded and sponsored by Luxottica, to build awareness around OneSight’s free digital book titled Through the Looking Glasses.
Essilor and Luxottica employees will also have the chance to work together on different eyecare-centric initiatives.
In other WSD news, Lighthouse Guild reported that it received a $10,000 gift from Bausch Foundation to purchase new computers to train people with vision loss for work, school and daily living. The computers will be used at Lighthouse Guild’s Assistive Technology Training Center in Manhattan, which is specifically designed for people with vision loss.
“Vision impairment does not need to be a barrier to success,” said Calvin W. Roberts, MD, president and CEO of Lighthouse Guild. “We thank Bausch Foundation for their generous gift that will allow us to expand our ability to help people with vision loss use the latest technology to achieve their goals and lead full and productive lives.”
Shopko Optical also has taken steps to celebrate World Sight Day, and will donate more than 1,000 designer frames to Optometry Giving Sight, a global organization that educates and equips communities to provide basic eyecare services to millions of deserving individuals. Shopko Optical’s eyewear donation—valued at more than $150,000—will give recipients the ability to enhance not only their vision, but the opportunities that come with clearer sight.
“We are excited to advance vision health around the world with this donation,” chief executive officer Russ Steinhorst said. “World Sight Day is the perfect opportunity for Shopko Optical communities and surrounding areas to come together and support global eye health.”
In addition, Shopko Optical is encouraging its communities to join in Optometry Giving Sight’s World Sight Day Challenge. Funds raised through this challenge support projects that train eyecare professionals, establish vision centers in developing countries and deliver eyecare services to those in need.
Alcon marked World Sight Day through its ongoing effort to donate and deliver the equipment and medical supplies needed for increasingly important eyecare services and procedures to help underserved patients during the pandemic. Its associates around the world participated in the Steps for Sight Challenge to help improve access to quality eyecare and a new Alcon Foundation video PSA highlights the importance of eye health screenings. The video will premiere at the American Academy of Optometry (AAO) annual meeting.
The Steps for Sight Challenge is a global company initiative that challenges 2,020 associates to take 10,000 steps on World Sight Day to raise a total of $25,000 for three global eye health nonprofit organizations—longtime partner Orbis, Optometry Giving Sight and one surprise recipient to be chosen by an Alcon site, according to the company’s announcement.
“This year, our Alcon team has seen firsthand how the COVID-19 pandemic has made access to quality eyecare even more challenging for communities across the globe,” David J. Endicott, Alcon’s chief executive officer, noted.
“Now more than ever, Alcon is proud to partner with nonprofit eye health organizations who are working toward a common goal of improving access to eyecare, including offering free eye surgeries and eyecare resources to patients, as well as providing training and education to eyecare providers across the world. Through these impactful initiatives, we can help improve people’s vision and inspire hope in sight,” Endicott said.