Celebrating World Sight Day As A Community

By Stephanie Kirschbaum, OD October 03, 2014

As an optometrist, it’s alarming to hear that, even today, more than 600 million people globally don’t have access to the eye care or eyewear they need. Many are blind or vision impaired due to uncorrected refractive error that I know could be resolved with an eye exam and glasses.

There’s nothing like the feeling when a patient who’s forgotten—or never known—what it’s like to see clearly gets a new pair of glasses and breaks out in a big smile! During the week of World Sight Day, I’m looking forward to a lot of those moments.

I’ll be celebrating World Sight Day by volunteering with 45+ other doctors on board the VSP Mobile Eyes clinics in Sacramento. All three clinics plus portable lanes of eye exam equipment will be in service, providing free eye care and glasses to adults and children in need. On World Sight Day, October 9, the care will be centered on U.S. veterans in need and their families.

Last year, VSP Mobile Eyes, the World Sight Day Challenge Coalition, and the doctors in Atlanta provided more than 4,000 adults and children with access to eye exams and glasses and raised $570,000 for Optometry Giving Sight. This year’s event continues the support for the World Sight Day Challenge by again raising awareness and funds for Optometry Giving Sight.

Wherever you practice and whatever your plans for World Sight Day, I encourage you to take the World Sight Day Challenge. All donations to Optometry Giving Sight help fund sustainable programs to train local eyecare professionals, establish vision centers, and deliver eye care globally to people who are blind or vision impaired due to uncorrected refractive error—simply the need for an eye exam and a pair of glasses.

As I see it, as optometrists, we have opportunities every day to experience the life-changing power of eye care. Being able to use my skills and expertise to help those in need around the globe gives me a renewed excitement about my practice and my profession. Volunteering with VSP Mobile Eyes in the past has been a gift: working with the expert mobile clinics team, colleagues and grateful patients is an event worth taking part in whenever possible.


Take part in the conversation! Follow and use the #givingsight hashtag on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


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