Philanthropy - SO Important

Philanthropy - SO Important

Monday, July 1, 2013

Do Good, Look Good, and See Great!

As summer rolls in it is time to “roll out”, sporting your most stylish pair of sunglasses, of course. Whether you are a fan of the Tom Cruise Aviators, or rocking the Ray-Bans; sunglasses make a statement.  And, if you have one of the eye conditions that Vision of Children is focused on, there is also a good chance that you are light-sensitive, making sunglasses even more necessary.  This realization prompted me to start looking into various eyewear companies. 

If you are a glasses company like Proof Eyewear, Warby Parker, or Toms, the statement you make is more than just a fashionable one. These companies, along with others, have made it their mission to sell a product that makes a difference. Their “Do Good” philosophy is changing lives and providing sight to people worldwide.

Taylor Dame
I got a chance to speak with Taylor Dame, one of three brothers that founded Proof Eyewear, who told me their story. Inspired by their grandfather who opened a small sawmill almost 60 years ago, they use wood to make many of their products because they wanted to create unique, environmentally friendly products made from sustainable materials. But more importantly, they wanted to provide products that have meaning and give back. From this, Proof Eyewear was born with a “Do Good” purpose.

When they see a need, Proof takes on the challenge. They have donated to a variety of charities focused on reforestation in Haiti, disaster relief for the tsunami in Japan, and helping recovered child soldiers in Africa. What really caught my eye, were Proof’s contributions to a charity in India that treats curable sight disorders and provides sight-giving surgeries to those in need; raising $25,000 in a year—money that will be used to open an eye clinic in an under-served area of India. 

The Dame Brothers on Shark Tank
While Proof is helping to treat those with curable sight disorders, VOC remains devoted to helping those with incurable hereditary sight conditions. Maybe one day, Proof and other eyewear companies will expand their focus to work alongside The Vision of Children Foundation to find a treatment for “incurable” hereditary conditions.

It is great to see for-profit eyewear companies change lives by giving people the gift of sight. Like VOC, rather than accepting that “seeing is believing”, they believe so that others may see. Each step toward clear eyesight is progress, and we hope that one day every child will see clearly! Thank you to all of these companies who are making a difference, and keep up your “Do Good” work!

-VOC Summer Intern, Kelley Burr, is an undergraduate at the University of Northern Colorado studying Recreation, Tourism, and Hospitality.

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