This holiday season: see the good, share the good.
We’re celebrating the good that people are putting out in the world--big and small. See what’s good, share your own good deed, and see 5 small ways you can make a difference if you’re looking for inspiration (link in profile). #seethegoodsharethegood
Tasha just graduated with her GED and is beyond thankful for her new glasses to continue her studies to become a nurse. She hasn’t had glasses in 20 years and constantly struggled to see her work... she can now chase her dreams of becoming a nurse by seeing her life more clearly. “...thanks to OneSight for giving me glasses so I can see and become the nurse I am going to school for.” #seethegoodsharethegood
#Repost@noqnion ・・・ What a wonderful birthday present, the gift of sight. Margarita comes from a small village about five hours outside of town. On the playground, she likes to run “a little bit slow”. Good things take time. When she grows up, she wants to be a Spanish teacher. She attends the small school in her town, but her vision problems make learning impossible. She is illiterate. We take pictures with her new metal frames on, her eyes struggling to focus on the camera. She stands tall, with a renewed sense of empowerment. She takes the lenses off, the prescription too strong for her eyes to adjust quickly. She must acclimate to her new lenses, a few hours every day until she can wear them full time. Soon she will learn to read so she can one day teach. It will be a long journey, much like the hours long trek she took today. Good things take time. #teamlux#onesight#unblur
With the leadership of Dr. Lee Nelson (top center), 5 Optometrists gave quality eye care, glasses and/or referrals to 941 displaced people along the Thai-Myanmar border. Thank you to Dr. Nelson as well as Dan Gerasimou, Dr. Tareq Nabhan, Dr. Carol Ann Rickards, Dr. Hang Thai, and Brittney Ismail.
OneSight can only bring quality vision care to the most remote areas of the world with the help of innovation—specifically the Kaleidos autorefractor that is lightweight and can assess someone’s prescription in less than 5 seconds.
Joe is 10 years old and has Down Syndrome but that does not hold back his joy! He is a precocious young man who is quick to smile and loves to make new friends. He came to our OneSight Clinic here in Cincinnati, Ohio because he is having trouble reading his books. Joe loves to read and play video games like most boys his age. The best part of his day today was getting his new glasses. We gave Joe two pairs to make sure that he always has a back up! #helpcincinnatisee
#Repost@eyemedvisioncare ・・・ For the past 30 years, it’s been EyeMed’s passion and privilege to give back through @OneSight. Our employees enjoy amazing opportunities to roll up their sleeves across the U.S. and around the world to help people get clear vision.
EyeMed strategic business account specialist Mirella Battista served up her own sand volleyball tournament in August, to raise money for her upcoming OneSight vision clinic in California. The event raised over $750 for OneSight. Great job Mirella!
#Repost@golf423 ・・・ Along the Thailand-Myanmar border, approximately 200,000 people live in an uncertain world. They have settled in temporary shelters, or migrate back-and-forth on a daily basis in search of economic opportunity, health care, and education for their children.
With so many competing needs, access to quality eye care and glasses have been scarce or non-existent. OneSight, in collaboration with local and international organizations, is working to change that and bring a permanent solution to an endemic problem. #onesight#luxottica#thailand#giftofsight
While photographing the clinic, I witnessed many a sight that made me smile. People seeing clearly for the first time, friends laughing as they modeled sunglasses for each other, children grinning in delight at their newly bespectacled reflection in the mirror.
But there were plenty of stories, people, moments that weighed heavily upon my heart.
Young mothers with poor vision juggling children on their own during their clinic visit.
Parents bringing babies with extreme eye conditions that they had no idea how to treat with their limited resources.
A man from Yangon who'd lost his job because he could no longer see clearly due to vision loss from an infected eye.
Life-threatening eye conditions patients weren't even aware of, and may never have learned about if they hadn't attended the clinic.
A boy who traveled from Myanmar for three days to reach the clinic, only to find out we couldn't treat him because he needed surgery from an ophthalmologist OneSight didn't have. It was intense. Though we workers and volunteers at the clinic helped hundreds of people, help wasn't possible for everyone just yet.
This isn't meant to defeat, only illustrate need. OneSight helped thousands of people at their clinic, but one clinic does not a problem solve.
The need of these displaced people in the border region—both medical and otherwise—is ongoing, and requires help from all sides and parties.
I share these snippets of stories with you so you can become aware of these people's situations, realize they are humans just like you and me, learn a bit about their struggles. Awareness won't solve all of the problems of the people in the border region... but it's an important step towards making people care enough to find a solution.
Thai officials sometimes crack down on migrants—even those who have been living in the country for years—and send them back over the border to Myanmar despite potential dangers of returning home.
Children's education is restricted to Migrant Learning Centers, a sort of school for displaced children and teens from Myanmar. Because they're not official Thai residents, displaced children cannot attend Thai schools.
If a student wants to go to university, it's not straightforward. To take entrance exams for higher education, they need an official identification card... which many displaced people do not have.
The same applies to finding well-paying work. Good employers don't want to hire displaced people because they have no IDs, because it's risky to hire people who aren't officially allowed within the country.
Many displaced people do not have access to health care. Sometimes it's a financial matter. For others, they are simply unable to travel anywhere to receive health care because of their migrant status.
Even coming to a clinic like the charitable eye clinic @OneSight ran can be risky; police sometimes hassle and check independent vehicles going to and from the clinic, and deport the people they catch.
Realize there's a reason people choose to endure this life of extreme risk and uncertainty, rather than staying at home. People do not leave their lives behind on a whim—they do so because they have to for the safety and wellbeing of themselves and their families.
The same holds true all around the world, not just along the Thailand-Myanmar border. If only more people could understand that in this era of walls, closed doors, and fear of all things foreign.
Daw's smile could light up the night sky, and she was full of gratitude for the glasses and care she received at the free eye clinic.
Afterwards, she told us she's famous for her noodle dishes. She invited three of us to come to her home and see for ourselves the next day.
Early the next morning, Daw met us on a roadside near her home, eyes already shining in greeting behind her glasses. She'd been cooking in anticipation of our arrival.
Her home is connected to a small snack shop/food stop that she runs herself, and she quickly filled a small table outside the shop with plates of noodles and bowls of sauces.
Daw's granddaughters and young neighbors gathered on chairs and benches at the table's edges to share the meal with us, and her wizened 95-year-old mother peered at us from behind a doorway.
Around the meal, she told us some of her life story. Migrating to Thailand from Myanmar after her husband abandoned her, raising 5 children on her own, business and money problems. Eyes welling with tears replaced her brilliant smile.
But Daw is strong. Like many other displaced people in the border region, she's learned to survive and do the best with what she has.
After taking a moment to compose herself, her smile reemerged, like sun breaking through the clouds after a heavy rain spell.
She told us her heart felt very open, that she was grateful to have people asking these questions and listening to her answers. That she was thankful for the glasses, how they make her feel like she can do anything and everything.
Sometimes, situations like Daw's can seem hopeless. You want to help, but a solution seems so far out of your reach.
But brightening someone's day with open ears and hearts, or empowering someone with a pair of glasses? I'd say that's a good start. Like Daw, we have to learn to do good in the world with what's available to us.