On March 28, VSP Global Eyes of Hope celebrated a giant milestone: helping one million adults and children in need see by providing no-cost eye exams and glasses!
What made the celebration extra special was celebrating with the students of Monarch School in San Diego. Each of the 300 students who attend the school is impacted by homelessness, and the school strives to provide the education, skills, and tools the students need to succeed. Since 2014, Monarch School has been partnering with the VSP Mobile Eyes clinic and the San Diego County Optometric Society to provide the no-cost eye exams and glasses that their students need to see clearly.
Since 80% of what we learn is through our eyes, seeing clearly opens a world of possibility, from the everyday to the extraordinary. That’s why we’ve been calling this celebration “A Million Possibilities.”
The school hosted a special assembly for the students to learn about their eyes and even play vision-related games. VSP Global President and CEO Jim McGrann took a few moments to thank the Monarch School staff, teachers, and students for being part of our journey and celebrating with us. Local optometrist Dr. Robert Meisel, who’s been volunteering at Monarch School for the last 8 years, also shared how important eyesight is for success in school and in life. Representatives from the offices of California Assembly Speaker Emeritus Toni Atkins, California Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez, and California Senator Ben Hueso also stopped by to lend their support.
At the end of the celebration, each student received a backpack with Nike Vision sunglasses and a Dragon Alliance t-shirt. It was amazing to see an auditorium of young, energetic students line up single-file to receive their gifts!
During our visit, 85 students and their family members received no-cost eye exams and glasses. With a finishing lab on the VSP Mobile Eyes clinic, most of the students were able to pick up and start wearing their new glasses the same day. The rest will receive their glasses later this month.
Throughout the month of March, we shared what “seeing clearly” means to VSP employees. As Monarch School students received their glasses, we asked them to share what it means to them—what they were most excited to see with their new glasses or look forward to seeing everyday. Here are a few photos of what they shared:
The best part about this celebration? We’re not stopping at a million possibilities. By 2020, we’re aiming to increase access to eye care for a million more people in need.