Opticare Vision Services chief executive officer Aaron Schubach (r) said the company “decided many years ago” to undertake efforts to benefit children in need. 
SALT LAKE CITY—Opticare Vision Services, formerly Opticare of Utah, has overseen an annual humanitarian mission for the past 14 years. But last year, due to Covid-19, carrying out this effort was not an option. What was originally designed to be an eyecare related project has since morphed into various types of humanitarian work that is not always eyecare related, but does always include one constant: children. The Utah-based vision insurance company partnered with Casa Hogar several years ago, and now the Mexican youth organization is known for the feature film made about it and its work with children.

“We decided many years ago that we wanted to do something for children, which is why we’ve partnered with orphanages around the world,” Aaron Schubach, chief executive officer of Opticare, said recently. “We’ve built water filtration units, paved basketball courts, installed stormproof windows, provided medical and baby supplies and even built bicycles for orphans around the globe from Thailand to Dominican Republic.”
In October, Opticare Vision Services visited Casa Hogar, an orphanage in Mexico that has recently become famous for the Netflix movie made about the community. The movie, “Blue Miracle,” features Dennis Quaid and Jimmy Gonzales, and it portrays the true story of a cash-strapped orphanage entering a fishing contest in Cabo by partnering with a captain and a rundown fishing boat only to win the grand prize.

The Opticare Vision Services team and invited partner guests visited Casa Hogar, an orphanage in Mexico that was featured in a recent Netflix movie.
Opticare first partnered with Casa Hogar in 2016, long before the fishing tournament and the movie hit theaters. Hogar receives no government funding and relies on companies and individuals for its continued existence.
“This trip is an annual event for us where we take several of our agent/broker partners and their spouses on an incentive-type trip, which usually includes plenty of beach time, but also includes several days of labor at a place like Casa Hogar,” says Aundrea Brinkman, project coordinator and an Opticare vice president.
“We’ve been to seven countries on four continents and to date we’ve donated over $350,000, over 2,500 pairs of glasses, performed around 2,000 cataract procedures and donated too many labor hours to count. It was one of the things that bothered us the most last year during COVID that we would not be able to do our annual event that we started in 2006,” Brinkman added.
Qualifying brokers and agents this year included GBS (Group Benefit Services), Ray Husey, Gallagher Agency, EMI Health and TDA Dental, among others.

The philanthropic trips undertaken by Opticare typically involve “several days of labor” mixed with some beach time, according to Opticare Vision executives.
Opticare Vision Services was founded in 1986 as Utah’s first limited health plan for vision and currently has more than 300,000 lives enrolled. It is a sister company to Standard Optical, which was founded in Salt Lake City by Henry Schubach in 1911.
Now operated by fourth generation family member Aaron Schubach, Standard Optical has 20 locations and one laser surgical center for full-scope comprehensive eyecare, including routine eye exams, glasses, contact lenses and surgical services like LASIK, cataracts and general ophthalmology.