Ellen Weiss, OD, FVI
VOSH is truly an International organization. I respect our colleagues at other organizations such as IAPB, OGS, BHVI, WCO, and the Vision Impact Institute for all of the great work they do on an international level to address the issue of uncorrected refractive error.
I just booked my flight to the IAPB meeting in Durban, South Africa where I will be presenting a poster on our Technology Transfer Program, where VOSH takes donated equipment and moves it to schools and clinics in developing areas. The three day meeting is full of exciting lectures. In addition to the education, I look forward to the opportunity to interact with colleagues from throughout the world. It’s treuely an exciting opportunity to be affiliated with these other organizations that are making a global impact.
VOSH is often referred to as the “boots on the ground”. We have organizations that fundraise, those that strategically plan, those that guide and educate, and those that are visionaries in the fight to eliminate uncorrected refractive error. VOSH brings a unique perspective on this, as we have dedicated souls that take time off of work, at their own expense, to go to areas of need. But, the vision impact we have is a small one on our own. So, being affiliated with other organizations that approach the issue of uncorrected refractive error from their perspective is so important and so gratifying. It’s wonderful to see these other entities, what they’re doing, how they’re doing it, and realizing that together we’re all making a much bigger impact, all with the same end goal, but each with a unique approach, is so gratifying.
“Optometry Giving Sight raises funds to support sustainable projects that deliver eye care and glasses in communities where there is currently little or no access to these services”. Optometry Giving Sight is a valuable partner to VOSH/International. Congratulations to them as they celebrate their ten year anniversary! I always enjoy looking at their website, givingsight.org, to read about the many projects they support.
World Sight Day is October 13th. Yesterday our office received a large box containing our new Optometry Giving Sight t-shirts. In our office, employees have a casual day one day per week where they wear their Optometry Giving Sight t-shirts. We put various informational pieces throughout the office, and post pictures on our Facebook page. Patients are encouraged to donate, and when they do so put their name on a donor card that’s posted behind our front desk.
Optometry students are especially creative in their participation in the World Sight Day challenge. One school hosts a dine-in- the-dark dinner, where they serve a nice dinner and all those participating wear a blindfold while eating. Another school sells links that the participants put their name on, and link them together to create a large chain. At the end of the challenge they pull on the chain, and the first link that breaks wins a prize. On a student level this creates excitement about how students can make a difference with their fundraising and it also raises the awareness of the blind and visually impaired people throughout the world.
I challenge all VOSHer’s to participate in the World Sight Day Challenge, which run through September and October. Optometry Giving Sight can help you get started-go to their website for ideas and help make a difference.
Ellen L. Weiss, OD, FVI, President
I wanted to share a little background on how the VOSH volunteer board and committees work. Since we’re all scattered in different states and Canada, we hold monthly board meetings via conference call. Throughout the month, there are various additional calls between various board members, committee chairs and volunteers to plan, implement and manage the wide variety of tasks and projects that VOSH is involved in.
In June many of us gathered in Boston for a face-to- face meeting during the American Optometric Association (AOA) meeting. As President of VOSH/International, I was asked to present to the American Optometric Student Association Trustee’s and Trustee-Elects. In addition, VOSH and the AOA held a joint student reception to recognize our student volunteers and the awesome job they are doing. Much thanks to the AOA Board of Trustees for taking the time out of their very busy week to mingle with VOSH.
Thanks also to the New England College of Optometry for their generous donation of their board room at the NECO Institute Center for our meeting. It’s so productive when our dedicated group of volunteers can sit in a room together. It was a busy, fast paced, productive meeting. Some of the discussion topics included branding VOSH, chapter benefits, dues, our relationship with Optometry Giving Sight, the website, legalities, our student intern program, fundraising, TTP, and VOSH Corps. Many objectives were accomplished and new goals set. As President I want to express my appreciation for those that donated their time, effort and expense to attend this meeting.
Ellen L. Weiss, OD, FVI, President