New Year, New Sight for 5,000 Adults and Children in Need
Lions partner with VSP Global® to launch pilot to increase access to eye care for adults and children in need across eight U.S. metro areas
Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) and VSP Global are teaming up in 2016 to improve access to clear, healthy vision in eight U.S. cities. LCIF and VSP have launched a pilot partnership to improve access to eye care by offering no-cost comprehensive eye exams and, if prescribed, glasses to benefit up to 5,000 adults and children who qualify.
The pilot partnership is operating through January 2017 and will provide local Lions club districts and local Lions clubs with Eyes of Hope gift certificates for persons in need in each of the following metro areas:
• Chicago, Illinois
• Columbus, Ohio
• Long Island and Greater New York City, New York
• Baltimore City, Maryland
• Atlanta, Georgia
• Portland, Oregon
• Sacramento, California
• Grand Rapids, Michigan
"LCIF and Lions clubs are proud to expand our community outreach and partnership in cooperation with VSP Global,” says LCIF Chairperson Joe Preston. “LCIF is committed to improving sight in underserved communities around the world. There are resources available to help people with limited vision and we are happy to be a part of the solution to the problem.”
Local Lions clubs are often contacted by local human service agencies and individuals to request financial assistance for eyeglasses and other health and assistance devices or support. Through this new expanded collaboration, Local Lions clubs will be able to serve more local persons and outreach further to its networks of community support and human service agencies, including local schools, faith communities, clinics, food banks and shelters to help provide local persons with access to a no-cost eye exam and, if needed, glasses.
Eligibility criteria to receive an Eyes of Hope gift certificate include a U.S. Social Security number, family/household income at or below 200% of federal poverty guidelines, and no insurance coverage for eye exams or glasses. At least one-third of beneficiaries are expected to be patients who are students aged 19 years old and younger.
Eligible patients may redeem the gift certificates to receive no-cost comprehensive eye exams and, if prescribed, glasses, from a local VSP provider.
“Our mission is simple: We help people see. We are thrilled to give back in these eight communities, including three cities where we’re located,” says Connie Vavricek, VSP Global Corporate Communications Director. “This pilot with the Lions Clubs is an opportunity to see out our mission by expanding access to eye care and eyewear to those most in need.”
For patients like Georgina Lopez, the access to eye care and eyeglasses is priceless. “This is a great program and resource for people who really need it. This is especially beneficial for me at school,” says Lopez.
LCIF, Lions Clubs and VSP have a long history of local partnership in communities across the U.S., including following local natural disasters. The origins of the VSP Mobile Eyes® clinics, an Eyes of Hope program, date back to the response to Hurricane Katrina, when VSP partnered with local Lions clubs in affected communities to provide no-cost eye care to patients and support optometrists whose practices had been damaged or destroyed. Today, the partnership has expanded to include charitable eye care efforts both in the U.S. and around the globe.
LCIF is the charitable arm of Lions Clubs International, the world’s largest service club organization with more than 1.4 million men and women members in more than 200 countries and geographical areas worldwide. Since 1968, LCIF supports Lions by providing grant funding for their local and global humanitarian efforts, including preventing avoidable blindness on a global scale for more than 20 years through LCIF’s SightFirst program. To date, Lions have invested US$415 million through SightFirst’s local eye care capacity building grant efforts and have helped restore sight to millions worldwide. Learn more at www.lcif.org or visit www.facebook.com/lionsclubs.
About VSP Global
VSP Global® helps more than 77 million people see better by providing affordable, accessible, high-quality eye care and eyewear. Our complementary businesses combine superior eye care insurance, high-fashion frames, customized lenses, ophthalmic technology and retail solutions. VSP Global businesses, operating in 100 countries in the U.S., Australia, United Kingdom, Canada and Ireland, include VSP Vision Care, Marchon® Eyewear Inc., Eyefinity®, VSP Optics Group and VSP Retail. As a not-for-profit business, we are committed to bringing vision to those who can’t come to us, and to reimagining how eye care and eyewear are delivered globally.