Camp Fire Survivors Treated to an Unforgettable Experience by VSP Eyes of Hope and GLAM4GOOD

300 students and teachers received free eye care and eyewear and a back-to-school shopping spree for their entire family 300 students and teachers received free eye care and eyewear and a back-to-school shopping spree for their entire family

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PARADISE, CALIF., August 20, 2019 –  As schools reopened in Paradise for the first time since the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history, VSP Eyes of Hope and GLAM4GOOD hosted an unforgettable back-to-school experience for 300 students and teachers, many of whom lost everything in the Camp Fire.

Many residents have been so focused on rebuilding their lives that they have had to deprioritize items like new clothing and eye care, including relying on out-of-date prescriptions or just doing without glasses at all. On Saturday, August 17, VSP Eyes of Hope and GLAM4GOOD, together with local volunteer VSP network doctors and GLAM4GOOD community volunteers who were also affected by the Camp Fire, provided hundreds of Paradise Unified School District students and teachers with free eye exams, glasses, new wardrobes, accessories and personal care essentials. In total, more than $1 million worth of goods and services were gifted by the two organizations.

“The start of a new school year is a hopeful milestone in the recovery process for this community, but it can also be a time filled with long to-do lists and expenses for parents and teachers,” said Michael Guyette, President and CEO of VSP Global. “It’s important to us to bring some relief to these families by providing access to eye care and eyewear and help ensure these teachers and students are set up with great vision as they head back into the classroom.”

The full-day event started with heartfelt words from Paradise Unified School District Superintendent Michelle John, GLAM4GOOD CEO Mary Alice Stephenson and Guyette, who revealed that, in addition to the care offered that day, VSP is providing 2,000 VSP Eyes of Hope gift certificates to cover eye exams and glasses at a local VSP doctor’s office for Paradise students and their families who couldn’t attend.

Stephenson then kicked off the recovery initiative inviting families to take part in a “shopping spree for free” inside the school gymnasium, which was transformed into a boutique filled with new clothing, stylish accessories, beauty products and personal care essentials for the teachers and their entire families.

“While the initiative aimed to restore and brighten wardrobes of those affected, the impact goes beyond the apparel,” said Stephenson. “This is a day for kids to not think about their hardships and just have fun being kids and for teachers who have put their students and community first—the opportunity to treat themselves.” 

The city of Paradise lost over 90% of its population and, as a result, the Paradise Unified School District is now half the size it once was. Even so, 600 more students showed up to school this first week than expected, sending a hopeful message to educators. The back-to-school initiative reunited hundreds of teachers and students. A lot of laughs and some tears were shared throughout the day, as community members reconnected.

“I am not even sure everyone realizes how far this gift will go because it will change the lives of kids and their entire schooling,” said John. “There are so many parents that are just thinking about putting food on the table and aren’t thinking about eye care, and yet their kids might be struggling in school and they don’t know why. This is probably one piece of the pie as to why they’re struggling.”

Of those that received an eye exam by local VSP network doctors on Saturday, 94% were prescribed glasses, many of which were made onsite.

Following the Camp Fire last year, a VSP Eyes of Hope mobile clinic was stationed in Chico for two weeks to care for those who were affected by the wildfire and support local VSP network doctors whose practices were damaged. In total, last year, nearly 900 people received access to eye exams and replacement glasses.  

To date, VSP Eyes of Hope has provided access to free eye care and eyewear for more than 2.5 million people in need, including more than 119,000 people affected by disasters in the U.S.

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IMAGES AND VIDEO AVAILABLE HERE:

Camp Fire Recovery Initiative

Photo credit: VSP Global

About VSP Global 
VSP Global is a doctor-governed company that exists to create value for members and opportunities for VSP network doctors. Our industry-leading businesses include VSP® Vision Care, the only national not-for-profit vision benefits company, which provides access to eye care for nearly 90 million members through a network of over 40,000 doctors worldwide; Marchon® Eyewear Inc., one of the world’s largest designers, manufacturers and distributors of high-quality eyewear and sunwear; VSP Optics, industry leaders in ophthalmic technology and lab services, providing custom lens solutions for the vision and lifestyle needs of patients; Eyefinity®, the industry leader in practice management and electronic health record software; VSP Retail, which focuses on increasing access to eye care and eyewear through multiple channels, and VSP® Ventures, which offers care-focused, customized choices for doctors looking to transition their practice. Together with VSP network doctors, VSP Eyes of Hope has provided access to eye care and eyewear to more than 2.5 million people in need.

About GLAM4GOOD

The GLAM4GOOD Foundation is a non-profit organization that creates and celebrates social impact, and empowerment through beauty and style. The GLAM4GOOD Foundation harnesses the healing power, joy, and attention that fashion and beauty bring to raise awareness, bolster self-esteem, promote healing, honor courage and provide life-changing makeovers, clothing giveaways and confidence-bolstering fashion and beauty initiatives for everyday heroes and people in need. GLAM4GOOD is proud to be the fashion and beauty industry’s go-to partner for corporate social responsibility and philanthropic initiatives. If you wish to support this initiative or contribute to future GLAM4GOOD giving events, please contact info@glam4good.com. www.glam4good.com

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