World Sight Day: How you can give the gift of vision
We take our vision for granted, but imagine not seeing rainbows, a loved one's face or not being able to read the chalkboard in a classroom.
We shouldn’t take our vision for granted.
An estimated 2.2 billion people have vision impairment or blindness, according to the World Health Organization.
World Sight Day is an annual day of awareness held on the second Thursday of October, to focus worldwide attention on vision impairment and blindness. The event is organized by The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB). World Sight Day 2020 is October 8, 2020.
You can make a difference during World Sight Day (and throughout the year) by contributing to organizations dedicated to eradicating global vision impairment and blindness. Your donation can improve the vision of people in your community and around the world.
Here are five organizations that support World Sight Day and provide eye exams and eyeglasses to children, train teachers about eye health, and help those who are blind.
Optometry Giving Sight
Raise funds for eye care: Optometry Giving Sight coordinates the World Sight Day Challenge. This is a major international fundraising event that brings the global optometric community together to help end avoidable blindness and vision impairment.
How you can make a difference: Donate or pick a fundraising activity. Your support will make an immediate and long-lasting impact.
Lions Club International Foundation
Donate glasses for recycling: World Sight Day traces its start to Lions Club International Foundation's Sight First campaign in 2000, and vision remains one of the Lions' five global service areas.
How you can make a difference: With the Lions Recycle for Sight program, you can donate your usable eyewear at Lions-sponsored collection boxes in your community. Lions, Leos and other volunteers collect used eyeglasses and deliver them to regional Lions Eyeglass Recycling Centers. For information specific to locations in your community, contact your local Lions club.
Volunteer in your community: Volunteers help OneSight achieve its mission "to bring eye exams and glasses to the 1 in 7 people on our planet who lack access to vision care."
How you can make a difference: OneSight's Time Counts volunteer platform makes it easy to donate an hour or more of your time at local community vision events, making a direct impact in the community in which you live.
On World Sight Day, OneSight's Day of Service events will provide vision care and eyeglasses across 10 countries and will serve populations ranging from students to prison inmates to refugees.
Dedicate a gift of sight: Orbis International, known for its Flying Eye Hospital, has been treating and preventing blindness for more than 35 years. Since 1982, Orbis has conducted training programs in over 92 countries and trained hundreds of thousands of medical professionals.
How you can make a difference: You can celebrate someone special in your life by dedicating a gift to Orbis in his or her name. Recipients will be notified of your gift by receiving a hand-addressed Orbis acknowledgement card in the mail.
Essilor Vision Foundation
Be an advocate for eye health: Essilor Vision Foundation's mission is to provide Better Life through Better Sight around the globe from locations in the U.S, Europe, China, India, Southeast Asia and other countries.
In the U.S., Essilor Vision Foundation works with schools, nonprofits and charitable eye doctors who volunteer their time providing eye exams. Essilor Vision Foundation distributes over 250,000 pairs of glasses each year to ensure patients receive glasses.
Make a difference on World Sight Day
However you choose to mark World Sight Day — whether it's by donating, volunteering, fundraising, or being an advocate for vision in your own home and community by encouraging your family and friends to schedule an eye exam — you're helping those with vision problems to see more clearly.
You’re also not taking your vision for granted.
LEARN MORE ABOUT: The impact of visual impairment on the global community
Page published in February 2019
Page updated in January 2021