Coronavirus BRIEFING

Optometry Giving Sight Awards $50,000 in COVID Relief Funds to 12 North American Charities

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GOLDEN, Colo.—In an effort to support North American organizations and to further enhance their national presence, Optometry Giving Sight (OGS) awarded 12 organizations with grants up to $5,000. Nine of these are in the U.S., three are in Canada. The funding will support their work in providing eye exams and glasses to individuals in underrepresented communities, special project funding to build sustainable vision care efforts, and opportunities to provide diversity and inclusion training to staff, volunteers and board members.

“I am grateful that we were able to provide funding to such a diverse group of worthwhile organizations who are doing critical work within their communities” said Anne Marie Hand, executive director of OGS who started in June. “It was a quick turnaround and I’m so appreciative that my team and our board of directors supported this endeavor,” she added.

One of the recipients, Healing California, will continue their work on providing mobile vision clinics. "The OGS COVID Fund will allow Healing California to supply our staff, volunteers and patients with the PPE and supplies we need to resume our mobile vision clinics throughout California during the pandemic" said Greg Pearl, OD, who is on the board of Healing California.

The Vision Institute of Canada plans on using their award to purchase new equipment. Dr. Lois Calder, clinic director said,“The pachymeter helps me diagnose glaucoma in its earlier stages to facilitate treatment and reduce both vision impairment and low vision. It is a key diagnostic tool I always take with me when I make on-site visits to my patients in long-term care homes.”

A complete list of funded projects can be found here. OGS said it plans on continuing to support domestic and international projects.

Optometry Giving Sight (OGS) is a North American fundraising initiative that specifically targets preventable blindness and impaired vision in the global developing world due to uncorrected refractive error (URE)—simply the need for an eye examination and a pair of glasses. OGS funds the development of accessible and sustainable eye and vision care projects in communities where either they do not exist, or they are in need of support.