Optical Industry Relief Efforts Focus on New Jersey’s Hard Hit Coastal Communities

By

OneSight Foundation volunteers helped
New Jersey residents this week
after Hurricane Sandy.
NEW YORK—Optical industry relief efforts, including support for eyecare professionals experiencing hardships and the provision of eye exams and glasses for those residents impacted by superstorm Sandy, have been visible this past week in New Jersey, particularly the coastal communities.

OneSight, the vision care nonprofit sponsored by Luxottica, was conducting a second Vision Van Clinic this week to help Hurricane Sandy victims in Moonachie, N. J., after spending the prior weekend serving those housed at a Red Cross shelter in Oceanport, N.J. More than 50 OneSight volunteers staffed the Oceanport Vision Van Clinic on Saturday and Sunday, including Luxottica team members from LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, Sears Optical, Oakley, Sunglass Hut, Luxottica USA and EyeMed. Vision screenings resulted in free eye exams and glasses for more than 100 residents staying at the Oceanport Red Cross shelter. The Red Cross location near the small towns of Moonachie and Little Ferry, N.J. is still serving 300 to 500 residents daily after a breeched levee left surrounding communities under four to eight feet of water.

According to Dawn Yager, OneSight project manager, “So many of the people staying in the shelter have nothing left after the storm. It was heart wrenching to hear their stories. They were so appreciative of the quality care we provided.” Area doctors and associates responded to OneSight’s call for volunteers coming in from Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey. In addition, Luxottica USA and Oakley donated frames and sunglasses.

“The outpouring of support from Luxottica volunteers was amazing,” said Leona Dockery, OneSight project manager and Vision Van co-leader with Yager. “Employees from across the organization stood side by side to give our best to those who need it most. Many expressed how much it meant to have the opportunity to help right here in their own back yard.”

In addition to the Vision Van Clinics, OneSight has been working with the Red Cross and other nonprofit agencies to refer victims to their local LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, Target Optical or Sears Optical location for help, including free eyewear through OneSight’s voucher program. Jason Singh, OD, vice president and executive director of OneSight said, “As we reflect on our many reasons to be thankful, I want to express OneSight’s deep appreciation for our volunteers. It is thanks to them we are able to help Hurricane Sandy victims see a brighter future and we are giving the gift of sight to millions in need around the world.”

In addition, the New Jersey Society of Optometric Physicians (NYSOP) has been reaching out to members who suffered damage as a result of Hurricane Sandy and the group has dedicated a portion of its website to make known the assistance and support available. 

As reported by VMail, local residents who have lost or damaged their eyeglasses during Superstorm Sandy are invited to receive free eyecare and glasses on board two fully-stocked, 40-foot long, state-of-the-art mobile eyecare clinics, through relief efforts provided by VSP Vision Care.

This week, beginning Tuesday, Nov. 20 through Saturday, Nov. 24, (excluding Thanksgiving day) two mobile eyecare clinics will be set up in Union Beach, N.J. and in Queens, N.Y. Non-VSP members unable to visit the mobile clinics or who are unable to be seen onboard the mobile clinic due to limited availability may contact their local American Red Cross chapter or shelter to receive a VSP gift certificate redeemable for free eyecare services. VSP members who need eyecare or replacement glasses can receive them by calling (800) 877-7195 for an authorization.

Eyecare services will be provided by local VSP optometrists whose offices have been closed due to Superstorm Sandy. Efforts are underway to establish additional satellite vision clinics hosted by VSP in other affected areas, with more details to follow. The mobile clinics will continue to host outreach events in various communities impacted by Superstorm Sandy during the upcoming weeks, VSP said.