New Eyes For The Needy Seeking Support for Its Work in N.J. and Across U.S.

By
SHORT HILLS, N.J.—For more than 80 years, New Eyes For The Needy ( www.new-eyes.org) has been helping adults and children who don’t have access to eyecare and eyewear. New Eyes purchases new prescription eyeglasses through a voucher program for children and adults in the U.S. who cannot afford glasses on their own. New Eyes also accepts, recycles and distributes donated glasses for poor people overseas.
 
Children are often recipients of New Eyes For The Needy’s eyeglass vouchers. Here, a boy gets his vision checked with his new prescription New Eyes’ glasses.  

The organization, which operates with 200 adult and 55 student volunteers plus a small staff, operates both in the U.S. and abroad.

For its U.S. Eyeglass Program, in 2012-2013, donors helped 6,634 people in 47 states to see clearly through New Eyes’ voucher program. Of these, children were the recipients of 10 percent of the glasses, while adults and seniors received the rest.

Glasses recycled through New Eyes traveled to 30 countries last year. Through programs such as Feed The Children and Unite for Sight, New Eyes gave away nearly 195,000 pairs of recycled eyeglasses overseas to people in developing countries. Since its inception in 1932, New Eyes has improved the eyesight of more than 7,500,000 people in the U.S. and around the world.

In addition to the generous donations of local organizations, foundations and volunteer events, New Eyes entered into a major new partnership with Costco recently. With the formalization of the new partnership this past summer, New Eyes received their first shipment of over 5,000 used eyeglasses from Costco warehouses throughout the U.S. as well as the donation of lensometers used to determine eyeglass prescriptions. Costco is also actively recruiting affiliated eye doctors to perform free eye exams for children.

 
New Eyes provides eyeglass vouchers for qualified recipients in the U.S. The group is seeking more ECPs to volunteer their services to provide exams.  
 
Actor Jake Gyllenhaal is a high visibility ambassador for New Eyes. He received a surprise eyeglass donation here on a recent visit to Queen Latifah’s national morning TV show.  

Denise Mogil, Costco’s U.S. optical director of professional services, joined the group’s advisory board this summer. She told VM, “This is a fantastic organization, doing great things to expand access to eyeglasses for so many people in need. We are looking to help them expand awareness of New Eyes and hope that more eyecare professionals and companies will become involved, as their goal is to develop even further nationwide. We’re also very excited about their involvement as the beneficiary of the EyeRock concert in New York in March.” (See Box, this page).

Among other recent new projects for the organization, Suja (www.suja.com), an organic juice drink company, has launched a new beverage line available exclusively at Whole Foods. One of its flavors, “24 Karat” carries the New Eyes logo and mission on its label with $.20 of each bottle sold donated to New Eyes.

Further, this holiday season, New Eyes is partnering with Readers.com (www.readers.com), a company owned by One-Click Ventures. At check-out, customers will be to either make a donation to New Eyes’ national voucher program or donate glasses for New Eyes’ overseas program.

In 2012-13, frame, sunwear and reader companies including Costco, Davis Vision, Safilo USA, Global Eyeglasses LLC, Maui Jim, MoralEyes, B. Robinson Optical and Silver Dollar Optical were among those providing donations.

However, points out Jean Gajano, New Eyes’ executive director, the need continues around the country and the group is particularly seeking out eyecare professionals who would be willing to volunteer time and services to deliver the exams and dispensers to accept vouchers for qualified recipients. As of October 21, 2013, she pointed out, New Eyes has 964 individuals on the waitlist for eyeglass vouchers.

Actor Jake Gyllenhaal, is a visible supporter of New Eyes. He is honorary chair of the organization’s advisory board and served as the group’s 80th anniversary gala ambassador last November. Just last month, Gyllenhaal received a gift of collected used eyeglasses from Queen Latifah, when he appeared on Latifah’s new morning show. Gyllenhaal has helped to raise the profile of the group with other celebs.

New Eyes For The Needy is a non-profit, non-sectarian volunteer organization classified under sections 501(c)(3) and 509(a)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code.

March 2014 EyeRock Concert to Benefit New Eyes For The Needy

NEW YORK—The New Eyes For The Needy organization will be the beneficiary of the March 29, 2014 EyeRock concert, to be held at the Hard Rock Café in New York, during the weekend of Vision Expo East.

 

Steve Santinelli, one of the organizers of the EyeRock Band, said, “We are thrilled to be working with such an exciting charity such as New Eyes. They have done so much in helping improve vision for so many in need. The EyeRock Band’s mission has always been focused on uniting the optical industry in supporting a cause that improves the lives for those less fortunate than ourselves. What better organization is there that has the tools and energy to accomplish this goal than New Eyes?”

Added Jean Gajano, New Eyes’ executive director, “New Eyes is honored to be part of this exciting event to benefit our mission of providing eyeglasses to those in need. We look forward to a fun night, great music and increasing support to help improve lives through improved vision.”

The concert is Saturday, March 29 from 9 pm-1 am. Details about the event/tickets will be posted soon. ■

maxelrad@jobson.com