Thousands of people in the greater Houston area, from all walks of life, were affected by Hurricane Harvey and the subsequent flooding. To help 750 teachers and educators who were among those who lost everything, GLAM4GOOD organized a “shopping spree for free,” and the VSP Global Eyes of Hope mobile eye care clinic and Marchon Eyewear were happy to take part. Local VSP network doctors, all of whom had practices damaged or destroyed by the hurricane, provided no-cost eye exams and prescription glasses made on-site with designer frames and suns donated by Marchon.
In Texas, there has been no shortfall of people coming alongside their neighbors to aid in a time of crisis. From people taking their boats from home to home helping stranded neighbors, to people raising money to help get people back on their feet, we caught a glimpse of not just the worst of nature, but the best of humanity.
“Many of the recipients here today have lost everything in Hurricane Harvey, and that means they’ve lost their glasses too,” said Mary Alice Stephenson, founder of Glam4Good. “How can you fill out all the forms and take care of business and the challenges ahead without seeing what you’re doing? So we are so grateful to have this incredible team from Marchon and VSP here, along with the optometrists who are giving eye exams and prescriptions to allow people to leave here with the ability to see.”
Many who participated in the event felt pride to be part of giving back to the community.
“What’s important to me is to actually see the smiles return to their faces that have been gone and dimmed away over the past few weeks. This matters,” said Zeph Capo, president of the Houston Federation of Teachers.
VSP Global is committed to providing access to care at all times, but in times of crisis, that focus is amplified through our disaster relief programs. To help those affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, VSP Global has committed up to $5 million in relief aid, in partnership with VSP network doctors.
VSP is currently on the scene in the greater Houston area with the VSP Global Eyes of Hope 40-foot mobile eye care clinic, which gives local VSP eye doctors who have been affected by the hurricane a place to provide immediate access to care and new glasses to patients. Since arriving on September 11, seven doctors have provided eye exams for more than 520 people in need.
A second mobile eye care clinic is ready to be deployed to Florida to partner with local VSP network doctors there, as needed, to help those impacted by Hurricane Irma.
In addition to the mobile eye care clinics and programs to support VSP network doctors who are rebuilding their practices, VSP has provided 4,000 Eyes of Hope gift certificates to charitable partners to distribute to those in need across all the areas affected. The gift certificates, available to anyone who needs eye care or who has lost or broken their glasses due to a disaster, are redeemable at a local VSP network doctors’ office and include a comprehensive eye exam and eyewear at no-cost.
If you or someone you know has been affected by a disaster, please visit the VSP Global Eyes of Hope disaster relief resource site.
This is a guest post by VSP employee Ryan W.