At VSP Global, giving back is at the core of our mission to help everyone see the world more clearly. Through Eyes of Hope, we support communities worldwide through initiatives that provide access to eye care, eyewear, education, and disaster relief to places where they’re needed most. Here are some highlights from 2017, plus ideas on how you can give to your community in celebration of Giving Tuesday.
Supporting disaster relief efforts
VSP has disaster relief programs that are always on and available to support our employees, members, VSP network doctors and the communities they serve. This year, multiple hurricanes and wildfires amplified the number of communities across the U.S. in need of support. VSP Global and our employees rallied to help community members and VSP network doctors who were affected by the disasters.
In addition to providing disaster relief gift certificates, VSP Global employees traveled with Eyes of Hope mobile eye care clinics to Houston to create access to VSP network doctors who provided no-cost eye care and eyewear to people who lost or damaged their glasses during the hurricane. Many of those doctors were also personally impacted, including Jay Pravda, OD, who lost his practice when the waters rose but still dedicated his time to helping his community recover. Hear his story.
Additionally, through World Sight Day Challenge fundraisers in Australia, Germany, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Brazil, Japan, China, Malaysia, and the United States, and a corporate match, VSP Global donated $16,000 to Optometry Giving Sight. The organization will support long-term hurricane-related eye care relief efforts in Texas and Puerto Rico, where the Inter American University of Puerto Rico School of Optometry was significantly damaged.
Employees also rallied to support the American Red Cross. Together, VSP Global and employees donated nearly $60,000 to support those affected by disaster.
This year, employees voted to support the American Cancer Society by raising awareness about the role that eye exams can play in cancer prevention in addition to fundraising.
In May, a team of more than 30 employees, friends, and family members took turns walking for 24 hours at Relay For Life in Elk Grove, CA. In August, dozens of employees participated in a virtual relay. Then in October, employees in Long Island and New York City, NY; Columbus, OH; and Sacramento, CA, took part in Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walks to support, celebrate and remember those who have been affected by breast cancer.
Together, VSP Global and our employees donated more than $82,000 through our corporate sponsorship, campus fundraisers, and personal donations. Employees also took the opportunity to share how VSP network doctors can help detect signs of cancer through eye exams and manage patients’ eye health.
“In 2014, my mother was diagnosed with Stage 3 Lung Cancer. She fought bravely, but the cancer was so aggressive she never had a chance. During her treatments, my dad was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and began chemo. In September 2015, we learned that he was in remission; my mother passed away two weeks later,” said Karen Calhoun, VSP Global employee. “I began Relay For Life five years ago, and my mom always helped me prep for the event. Relay is still pretty amazing as now my dad walks in the Survivor Lap; I hope he is able to do that for years to come. This year’s Relay was extra special to me as I walked with my peers.”
Join us in giving back
Here are some ideas for you to help people in need see their futures more brightly:
- Support Optometry Giving Sight with a tax-deductible donation.
- Volunteer with Society for the Blind or a similar organization in your community to help individuals with blindness or visual impairment.
- Donate your gently used eyewear through Lions Club International and help someone in another country.