The Gifts That Keep on Giving

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By Mary Kane: Executive Editor

If nothing else, the recent tragedy in Haiti has given new meaning to the phrase “relief effort” reawakening people worldwide to the fact that social responsibility is alive and well. The response to the devastating earthquake has been staggering but it doesn’t always take a disaster in order for the volunteer mechanism to kick in. Take, for example, Haiti’s neighbor, the Dominican Republic, spared from the earthquake but not by poverty and economic hardship. For the past 15 years, Moses Brown School in Providence, R.I. has been sponsoring a student service trip to the island going around to bateys and setting up health clinics. This month’s trip is comprised of 15 kids and teachers, plus one physician alumna from the high school.

I am especially interested in this effort since one of the students is my niece, Sarah Rheault, who told me that from previous trips, eyeglasses were an especially big hit with the Dominicans. So I reached out to Mark Sachs, founder of RestoringVision.org. The charity provides new readers and sunglasses to American Mission groups and when the Moses Brown students leave later this month, in addition to the medicine and toiletries stuffed inside their duffle bags, they’ll also be carrying 900 pairs of glasses, compliments of RestoringVision.org.

The school’s efforts are a testament to the fact that social responsibility is thriving and promises to live on through the next generation of volunteers.

The message of social responsibility is spreading and the optical industry is no stranger to this renewed sense of purpose. Reade Fahs of National Vision, in tandem with Vision Monday is spearheading an effort to cast a spotlight on vision-centric philanthropic efforts throughout the optical community. See his column below and find out more on page 14 about VM’s new editorial initiative: A Greater Vision.