Our Campaign for Better Vision Worldwide
We Have a Vision: Readers.com's campaign for better vision worldwide.
PRVAIL's goal is "to ensure that optical missions going to developing countries and impoverished neighborhoods in the U.S. have enough reading glasses to meet patient needs." To date they have distributed over 750,000 pairs of reading glasses to others that are less fortunate.
Keep reading to find out more about PRVAIL and how you can contribute.
So who is PRVAIL?
PRVAIL is a 501 c (3) non-profit organization dedicated to delivering reading glasses to the many underprivileged people worldwide who so desperately need them. Reading glasses (powers from +1.00 to +3.50) restore close-up vision, correcting the problem of presbyopia.
There are numerous organizations that conduct missions to bring eyewear to people in the U.S. and developing countries, and they have had great success in sourcing and supplying prescription eyeglasses. However, 40% of the glasses they need are reading glasses, and they never seem to have enough of these.
PRVAIL's goal is to ensure that optical missions going to developing countries and impoverished neighborhoods in the U.S. have enough reading glasses to meet patient needs. Many people in developing countries make their living with their hands, doing tasks such as fishing, sewing, cooking or assembly line work. The loss of close-up vision can threaten their livelihood, and even their survival. At the very least, their quality of life is seriously compromised when they can't see well enough to cook, read or enjoy the expressions on a baby's face.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, people over 40 represent 27% of the population in less developed countries - that's approximately 1.3 billion people with deteriorating close-up vision who may be at risk of losing their livelihood.
Go here to read a message from the Director of PRVAIL Mark Sachs: http://www.restoringvision.org/about-2/directors-message
Go here to look at PRVAILS Board of Directors: http://www.restoringvision.org/about-2/bod
Below we have outlined some of the wonderful things that PRVAIL has accomplished, highlighted by some of the actual people that they have worked with. Keep reading to find out how you can help, and to find out more about PRVAIL.
How you can get involved
- Commit to write a post (if you have a blog or website) dedicated to the Readers.com and PRVAIL's We Have a Vision campaign. Link back to www.RestoringVision.org and link back to this page. For every person who does this we will donate $1 to PRVAIL. Every dollar that we donate will help to make a difference to one person. It will help them to regain the sight that they need to work and live.
- Commit to donate a dollar amount to PRVAIL. It doesn't have to be a big amount. $20 dollars will deliver 20 pairs of Reading Glasses. So $1 will help to donate one pair every cent makes a difference. You can donate money directly to PRVAIL here (link to http://www.restoringvision.org/donation.htm)
- Commit to tell one person what you know about this campaign. Awareness of PRVAIL and the work that they do is as important as the money that we will be donating.
- If you know an organization that travels abroad on mission trips, commit to tell them about PRVAIL and the work that they do. PRVAIL is always looking for new partners abroad and in the US to help.
- If you would like more information for groups that want to take reading glasses with them on mission trips contact Mark Sachs at (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Buy a pair of reading glasses. For each pair of glasses that you purchase we will donate $1 to PRVAIL.
How to let us know you're getting involved
If you are going to commit to any of the above actions send an email to email@example.com. We would like to keep a running count of people that are participating.
We ran medical clinics in 5 remote mountain villages in Haiti. Over 4,000 patients were seen and treated in the 10 days we were there. Our 48 member group was comprised of 9 doctors, 14 nurses, 2 lab technicians, 2 eye care, plus interpreters and support staff.
Patients would walk for hours through rugged mountains to get to our clinics. They received treatment for a variety of problems including; five babies delivered, broken bones, parasites and minor surgeries.
Malnutrition has become a major problem in Haiti. Cookies made out of dirt, lard and honey are given to the children to eat, since rice and flour is not available or too expensive. This contributes to vitamin deficiencies as well as parasites.
Even though they are desperately poor, the people are happy and caring for one another. They come to the clinics in their best clothes. We will see a young girl in a pretty dress one day and the next day another girl in the same dress.
Beckie Toland and I tested and provided 900 readers and ran out of the 500 sunglasses that we brought. The additional glasses will be taken when the group goes back this fall.
I included 3 pictures of Haitian people with their new glasses. The lady in the blue dress brings her wares up the mountain on her donkey to sell to the mission volunteers. We provided her glasses last year, this year she embroiders names on our scrubs.
It is such a thrill to see the look on the face of a person who is able to see clearly for the first time in many years. It is such an honor to be able to make their lives a little better. Your service in providing glasses for the Haitian people has certainly improved their lives. On behalf of those people, I thank you.
I am with Functional Literacy Ministry of Haiti. This ministry is involved in several areas. We run 40 adult literacy centers in Haiti which teach adults how to read. This year we will be graduating 1000 adults who have passed their proficiency exams. We also operate a 500 student primary school for children. In the year 2000 we began a medical outreach, since most of the people in the area where we minister have no health care available to them. Every summer since then as part of the medical mission we have had a glasses distribution center. If the patients who come to the clinic say they have a difficult time seeing, they are directed to the eye glasses ministry. As I read your stories on your web site they sounded like we could have written them. We have had men weep when they receive their reading glasses, because now they could see to sew again and resume their occupation as a tailor, or read their Bible again. Last year we had an elderly man collapse at our clinic and almost die. He was severely dehydrated and we worked over him for 4 hours. When he was conscious again his first words were that he wanted a pair of glasses so that he could see in order to work. He had walked for 2 days to come to the clinic for a pair of glasses! We were so thankful when we found a strength that worked for him!
Smiles, tears, hugs and kisses abounded on my recent mission trip to Romania. I had prayed about what items to pack in my extra suitcase. Each year God answers amazingly! God had given me the gift of a special additional mission trip to Peru. It was by talking with the Peru trip leader that I found out about your organization. I immediately contacted your company and within the day I had ordered 300 reading glasses. They arrived in a timely manner and with a good assortment of strengths.
God had placed this need on my heart by using my own recent dependence on reading glasses. Every time I reached for my reading glasses I was compelled to obedience. About a week after making the order with your company I got an email from the foundation in Romania asking if we had room in our mission suitcases because there were some eye doctors coming who needed help carrying some medicine. We made the necessary arrangements but my focus was on my trip to Peru and my subsequent 5 days back home before taking off again to Romania. I laugh now thinking how didn't clue in to see God's hand at work!
The second day on mission I signed up to join the optometry team. Two fantastic eye doctors (a husband and wife team) labored for hours seeing almost 100 people. The large majority needed reading glasses. As I handed out the glasses I was humbled with the knowledge that we serve a living God! He knew the needs and chooses to use my heart to help supply glasses for this mission. I had the pleasure of working 4 days on this particular outreach. But I must say that my first day is the highlight of my 2 week trip. I am not what one would call a touchy feely person. But when I put a pair of readers on my first "customer" and she broke out in tears, kissing my checks and hugging me I can tell you that I melted. Even now tears flow down my cheeks!
It was the widows that really touched my heart. These women have to work hours in their garden because it is the only way they can survive the harsh winter. Their faces, hands and feet show how their difficult life. Their faith is evident but until they had reading glasses they couldn't read their Bible. By giving them a Bible to "test" their reading glasses they would often tell us with their emotions and their motions that it was the Bible they wanted to be able to read. Occasionally we would have the chance to communicate through an interpreter and this was the overwhelming theme.
The report given by the executive director of The Smiles Foundation says that 600 were examined. At least half of those were given two pairs of glasses. The glasses from your company were a significant contribution to the needs. The wonderful thing is that Smiles hopes to continue to offer these types of clinics through their new medical facility and out in the villages of Bihor County.
I have cced this report to those who helped with this endeavor. It brings God glory when we recognize His hand in situations!
Thanks again for the heart your company has to reach out to the world through reading glasses!
Terri L. Sebring