Classic Optical, a Youngstown Ohio-based manufacturer of prescription eyeglasses, has made participation in social programs part of their company culture. For years, Classic has been providing eyeglasses in coordination with organizations such as OneSight EssilorLuxottica Foundation, Helen Keller International, Vision to Learn, United Way, Sight for All United, VOSH International, and many individual eyecare providers who all play a part to donate time or materials or even both.

This student was delighted with her new eyeglasses, courtesy of Classic Optical and Fitz Frames.

Classic’s largest efforts focus on providing eyeglasses through school-based programs that identify children in need. They support entire district-lead efforts in the Chicago Public Schools, as well as programs that are out on the road utilizing vision vans to deliver services to more rural communities.

“Our eyeglasses are on the faces of students in need right in our hometown of Youngstown, Ohio, but we also ship out to schools in larger cities like Detroit and Atlanta and even all the way to Honolulu,” said Morgan Hartzell, managing director of Classic Optical. “Where we excel is in the manufacturing and timely delivery of those eyeglasses right to the doorstep of where they are needed.

“In 2022, we will have made almost 75,000 pairs of eyeglasses at no charge to a student. The work we do with our charity partners has a huge impact on us too. Being able to play a role in the gift of sight provides a sense of purpose to our employees in the work they do every day,” Hartzell said.

Classic has helped grow the amount of local students served in Youngstown from the initial Youngstown Community School in 2017 to six total school districts. This year Classic was able to be part of a unique partnership with custom frame manufacturer, Fitz Frames. After the students were given eye exams, they were able to pick out a color and style for their pair of eyeglasses that would be 3-D printed and built to their unique facial measurements right in downtown Youngstown.

“It was a combined effort with national organizations like OneSight EssilorLuxottica Foundation supporting local organizations like Sight for All United and the United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley,” said Hartzell. “As a Youngstown native, it was an especially rewarding moment for me to see the entire manufacturing process, from the frames to the lenses, completed right here in Youngstown by Fitz and Classic.”

Classic also strives to make “giving back” a part of the company culture. “Our mission is Improving Lives by Improving Sight, and we take the Improving Lives part of our mission outside of our four walls and into the Youngstown community through volunteer work such as ringing the bell for the Salvation Army Red Kettle campaign during the Holidays and serving at a local charity dinner where we donate our serving tips to the Animal Welfare League. We want to make a contribution to our community in more ways than one,” Hartzell concluded.