NEW YORK—World Sight Day 2018 is officially behind us, but that doesn’t mean it’s in the rearview; in fact, the money raised, glasses donated, and ECPs trained this World Sight Day will have a long-lasting effect on the world, and the people helped will continue to reap the benefits of the optical industry’s generosity for years to come. That long-lasting magic is, after all, what makes World Sight Day so important.

Each year, the World Sight Day challenge puts a fire in our bellies. We use the day as motivation to give, and this year was no exception. Once again, Optometry Giving Sight led an impressive coalition of more than 60 companies which committed to the World Sight Day Challenge. The large coalition included brands such as ABB Optical Group, Alcon Foundation, Bausch + Lomb, CooperVision, Essilor of America, Eye Recommend, EyePromise, Vision Source, VSP Global, WestGroupe, and Carl Zeiss Vision, among many others.

Alongside the coalition, a number of companies in the eyecare and eyewear sector stepped up to the plate this World Sight Day. The theme of this year’s World Sight Day was Eye Care Everywhere, encouraging us all to remember that lack of vision care affects over a billion people worldwide.

Prevent Blindness took World Sight Day to Capitol Hill and co-sponsored a Congressional Briefing, which Vision 2020 USA coordinated. The briefing, which occurs annually, is an opportunity to educate legislators on how and why it’s so important to increase access to vision care, as well as the way vision loss detrimentally affects our education, economy and quality of life.

Meanwhile, VisionSpring took World Sight Day international, holding vision screenings and educational events in various countries and underserved communities around the world, including Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Bangladesh, Zambia, Uganda, and India.

Clearly used this World Sight Day to encourage the world’s most powerful businesses, including Adidas, Uber, Amazon, Nike, TATA Steel, Foxconn, and Kraft Heinz, to engage in eyecare by encouraging them to launch workplace vision programs. This call to action could impact over 20 million employees around the world, improving not just their ability to do their job, but also their personal quality of life. Simultaneously, Clearly’s founder James Chen headed to the United Nations to help launch the first ever “Friends of Vision” group of UN Member States.

Vision Source spent this World Sight Day raising money to help provide 15,500 eye exams to people in need.

This World Sight Day, Restoring Vision announced that they’ve helped bring eyecare to over 12 million people worldwide.

Essilor of America employees spent World Sight Day 2018 participating in the company’s Difference Makers program, a program which recognizes employees who go above and beyond, and encourages employees to make a donation to a vision charity, do volunteer work, and post about World Sight Day on social media. The program aims to inspire action from others, to drive Essilor’s mission, and to improve lives.

De Rigo REM, a sponsor of Optometry Giving Sight, launched a social media campaign, #SEEINGCLEAR to bring attention to the prevention of blindness and vision impairment, as well as to raise awareness of and engagement in the World Sight Day Challenge. The campaign encourages social media users to take off their glasses and use them to frame their most valued daily vision. By taking a picture of that vision and posting it on social media, users will be reminded of the power and importance of seeing clearly. Additionally, every post that used the #SEEINGCLEAR hashtag triggered a $2 donation from De Rigo REM, up to $10,000.

Think About Your Eyes used World Sight Day to take vision care mainstream; Dr. Justin Bazan participated in a national media tour with radio stations around the country to promote the importance of annual eye exams.

The World Council of Optometry president, Dr. Scott Mundle, OD, used World Sight Day 2018 to announce the council’s support of the Our Children’s Vision campaign.

For Seva Foundation, World Sight Day 2018 was particularly special, as it coincided with the non-profit’s 40th anniversary. The foundation launched a series of programs in more than 20 countries, including Nepal, India and Guatemala. These programs focus on building local capacity to increase access to eyecare.

And across the board, people took this year’s #WithoutMySight challenge, which encouraged seeing people to attempt basic, daily activities blindfolded. This allowed them to experience a simulation of life without vision. WestGroupe’s president, Michael Suliteanu, was one of the many to take this challenge.

Of course, the big companies weren’t the only ones pulling out the stops for World Sight Day. Private ECPs celebrated the day in their practices, too, like the team at Linden Optometry A.P.C. in Pasadena, Calif., who held a bake sale fund-raiser this year.

Eye Columbus, in Columbus, Ohio, teamed up with their local Major League Soccer team, Columbus Crew SC, to promote #EyeCareEverywhere and World Sight Day this year.

Optician and blogger Daniel Brunson used social media to raise awareness for World Sight Day, and tried out a pair of glaucoma simulating glasses as well.

This is just a sampling of the many activities that took place this World Sight Day 2018; but it shows just how passionate and dedicated the eyecare and eyewear industries are. Each World Sight Day we get the opportunity to help people see the world through their best eyes—and each year, we do more and more