World Sight Day Activities Report

Brien Holden Vision Institute

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Brien Holden Vision Institute

The Institute took to social media to spread key messages around World Sight Day. Using ‘Thunderclap’ – a software that ‘blasts’ a timed message out on to Facebook and Twitter if enough people support a campaign – the institute chose to broadcast the WSD13 Call to action.

The WSD13 message went to over 100,000 people on Facebook and Twitter, with over 100 friends and supporters pushing the message out.

The Brien Holden Vision Institute also held a number of events in Papua New Guinea, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Uganda, Nigeria, Tanzania, Ghana, South Africa and Vietnam.

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Helen Keller International

Helen Keller International held their inaugural World Sight Day Luncheon on October 10th, 2013. The event raised nearly $75,000 in support of HKI’s eye health and nutrition programmes in some of the world’s most vulnerable communities.

More than 150 supporters and trustees gathered at The Harvard Club of New York City in the presence of an inspiring portrait of Helen Keller. Guests heard from Dr. R.V. Paul Chan, the St. Giles Associate Professor of Pediatric Retina and Director of the Retina Service at Weill Cornell Medical College. He spoke of the challenges facing the global eye health community, and of the critical need for programs like HKI’s.

Longtime HKI trustee and advocate, Mary Lindley Burton, received the first-ever Helen Keller Service Award for her dedication to sharing HKI’s work with others and for her many years of distinguished service on our Board of Trustees.

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Light for the World

Light for the World launched an interactive social media campaign on World Sight Day 2013 by to raise global awareness on blindness and visual impairment. With the name, ‘Share your light and save eyesight!', the web campaign asks visitors to ‘light’ a virtual lamp on the website. For every lamp CROMA, a private global specialty pharmaceutical and surgical company, donates one artificial lens. Each lens enables a cataract surgery that restores eyesight.

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Lions Clubs International Foundation

Lions Clubs International officially marked World Sight Day in Mossman, Queensland, Australia on October 10. International President, J. Palmer, led the events, including vision screenings of school children and adults.

In the USA, Johnson and Johnson (JJVCI) launched an #EyePledge, urging participants to use the Johnson & Johnson Donate A Photo app to generate contributions to Sight for Kids, a partner program of JJVCI and Lions Clubs International Foundation. For every photo uploaded on behalf of Sight for Kids, Johnson & Johnson will donate $1, up to $30,000, to help the charity provide eye exams to needy children.

Optometry Giving Sight

The World Sight Day Challenge, run by Optometry Giving Sight, is the largest annual global fundraising campaign to address avoidable blindness caused by uncorrected refractive error- and is supported by eye care professionals around the world. In 2013, Optometry Giving Sight launched a fresh look and feel to the campaign. Based on a concept of ‘people power,’ the colourful new logo and materials encouraged thousands of fundraisers to come together to help the millions of people in need.

Globally, the 2013 World Sight Day Challenge saw an array of fantastic fundraising efforts from optometrists and their practice staff, including fun runs, cocktail nights, car washes and a charity sky dive! This year also saw the introduction of the new World Sight Day Challenge wristbands.

Optometry students from around the world continued to bring a creative flair to the Challenge this year. The Optoms Cycling for Sight, led from the UK, saw an international bicycle riding event that raised almost £20, 000 – and the event is expected to grow in 2014! Student groups from Australia, Canada, the USA and the UK participated in the biggest student challenge to date hosting carnival days, comedy events and dining in the dark evenings.

Eye care companies around the world again showed their commitment to helping end avoidable blindness by taking the World Sight Day Company Challenge. CooperVision staff held fundraising events in all their global offices, with many other companies participating at the national level. Alcon Foundation supported the ‘Kids Celebration of Sight’ program, whereby school children in Forth Worth, Texas and Chennai, India exchanged cards and letters to share the experience of being screened and given glasses on World Sight Day.

VSP Global formed the World Sight Day Challenge Coalition in the USA, culminating in a large-scale outreach event in Atlanta, Georgia. It saw local optometrists, Coalition members and other community organizations join together to raise awareness and provide eye care and eyewear to 4,000 people in need. Coalition members include ABB Optical Group, Alcon,™, CooperVision, Essilor, Eyefinity®, Marchon Eyewear, TLC Laser Eye Centers, Transitions Optical, VISTAKON® Division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc., Vision Source®, VSP Optics, and VSP® Vision Care.

Thousands of optometrists, their staff, optical companies and students participated in the World Sight Day Challenge across Australia, Canada, US, UK, Ireland, Norway and Italy. There was also a free screening event held on World Sight Day in Singapore, for local disadvantaged youth and the elderly.

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