START A NEW CHAPTER
Be Part of the Solution
Start a new VOSH Chapter
- There are more than 7 billion people on our planet, and an estimated 2.5 billion of them suffer from the same health problem, regardless of their gender, age or ethnicity: vision impairment
- Whether moderate or severe, vision impairment can have far-reaching social and economic impacts on the lives of individuals, their families, and the communities they call home
- Poor vision is highest in developing countries with 90% residing in dire areas
90% of world’s visually impaired lives in low-income settings
- As information from the World Health Organization (WHO) shows, 43 percent of vision impairment is caused by leaving correctable conditions like myopia, hyperopia or astigmatisms untreated.
Requirements to become a VOSH/International
“Provisional” and “Fully Accredited” Chapter
The following are the requirements to form a new State or Regional Chapter.
Upon application the chapter will be accorded “Provisional” status until all the requirements are fulfilled within the following year. Thereafter, at the next VOSH/International Annual Meeting, the chapter will be ratified and recognized as a “Fully Accredited” VOSH Chapter.
Award of Provisional Status
- Incorporation of the new provisional chapter under the name: “VOSH- name of the Chapter (e.g. a state or a region based on the location of where the chapter incorporated not based on the location of the people to be served)-Provisional Chapter” The name can be changed by amendment with the Secretary of State after the Chapter is granted Permanent of Fully Accredited Status. Corporate name change can usually be accomplished by a short filing with the Secretary of State and costs about $25 – $50 – The inclusion of the term “Provisional” eliminates any possibility of a Provisional Chapter being mistaken or presenting itself as a fully accredited Chapter
- A minimum of five initial members, one of whom must be a licensed optometrist
- A set of fully developed by-laws, in addition to the Articles of Incorporation
- Proof of an I.R.S. Taxpayer Identification Number issued to the organization.
- Presentment to VI of a slate of serving Board of Directors (at lest three) and Officers (Pres, Vice Pres, Sec, Treasurer)
- A written statement of anticipated activities (general) and a fully developed statement of one anticipated mission or particular project – this mission or project may be conducted by the provisional chapter, with advisory presence from another existing fully accredited chapter or in cooperation with another fully accredited chapter)
- Presentment to VI of evidence of a functioning bank account for the organization (amount of balance not important)
- Payment to VI of the Chapter’s annual dues as specified in the VOSH International bylaws.
Award of Full Accredited Status
- Passage of one year’s time from award of Provisional Status
- Submission of evidence that the corporation is still legally active. This can be accomplished by submission of a Certificate of Continued Existence or similarly named document from the Secretary of State, obtained for a very nominal fee or print out from a web check of state corporate records on the Secretary of State’s website.
- Written statement showing present serving officers, directors and members (including at least one licensed optometrist) and copy of current bank statement.
- Report from an existing VOSH chapter concerning the execution and success of the first year’s mission based on personal observations from members of that Chapter who participated in or observed or personally verified the mission or project.
The decision as to granting of provisional and fully accredited status to be made by the V/I Executive Board, all original paper work for Provisional Status and Full Accredited Status to be submitted to and vetted by the Admission Administrator.
The following protocols are to be regarded as a “best practice” for the fiscal and archival administration of State and Regional Chapters (referred to jointly as “Regional” Chapters) and recommended by the V/I Board of Dorectors:
A. A Regional Chapter, which follows the requirements above, shall be considered a Regional Chapter in good standing with VOSH/International as of January 1st of the fiscal year for which dues payments and filings are timely made. Regional Chapters not in compliance with said requirements shall come into good standing with VOSH/International and the members of such Regional Chapters shall become members of VOSH/International, when such Regional Chapter achieves compliance said requirements. Each Regional Chapter shall pay that Chapter’s VOSH/International Membership Dues no earlier than October 1st and no later than December 31st. Payment should be made to the VOSH/International Treasurer. Payment must be made in timely fashion in order for that Regional Chapter to be considered as an Active Regional Chapter affiliated with VOSH/International for the following year.
B. Every Regional Chapter shall file a Status Report with VOSH/International’s Secretary at the end of VOSH/International’s Fiscal Year, or on or before December 31. Said Annual Report shall contain the following information:
1. A current roster of all officers of said Regional Chapter, with contact information, including email addresses.
2. A current roster of membership of said Regional Chapter. All members reported on that roster should be considered members of VOSH/International for the following year. A Regional Chapter may file a supplementary membership list with the VOSH/International Secretary during the months of May and June of each year. Such supplementary list may report members of Regional Chapters who have joined the Regional Chapter since that Regional Chapter filed its preceding Roster. Regional Chapter members listed on such supplementary Roster shall be considered as members of VOSH/International for the balance of the current fiscal year.
3. A listing of all VOSH clinics and mission trips scheduled for the upcoming year, including the trip leader and his or her email address. This listing shall be supplemented, as necessary, during the year or upon request of the VOSH/International Board.
C. Each Regional Chapter is encouraged to make a per capita donation to VOSH/International on behalf of each Regional Chapter member. Payment of such donations should be made at the time of submitting an Annual or Supplementary Chapter Membership Roster. The amount of such optional per capita donation shall be announced from time to time by the Executive Committee.
D. VOSH/International provides the following services and assistance to its Regional Chapters, although said services and assistance may change from time to time, as determined by the VOSH/International Board of Directors:
- Honor vision 2020
- Form and unify chapters
- Recruit members
- Have presence in exhibit halls
- Source of funding
- Promote student activity
- Maintain partnerships
- Conduct the annual meeting
- Document missions
- Conduct surveys
- Manage newsletter
- Manage website
- Manage electronic letter
- Message board for chapter assistance
- Develop sustainable eye clinics
- Collect equipment for international schools/clinics
HOW VOSH HELPS YOUR CHAPTER
VOSH/International provides a forum, a source of expertise and an infrastructure for humanitarian networking. Here are some of the services VOSH/International provides its chapters:
- Our website is here to serve the chapters — it unifies regional, state and school chapters by providing past and future clinic listings and dates, photos, listings of chapters and leaders, Annual Meeting information, resources, advice, news, programs, TTP and VOSH Corps information, Mission Guidelines, links and grant Information, a message board and much more.
- The website helps to increase chapter membership by matching inquiries with local chapters without charging the applicant.
- V/I has developed and continues to support sustainable clinics on foreign optometry campuses in Peru, Nicaragua and Mexico where students can provide affordable care to local patients while improving their optometric skills. Chapters are encouraged to take advantage of these clinic sites to promote sustainibility.
- We have developed and maintained the successful Technology Transfer Program (TTP), which recycles and distributes optometric equipment to clinics and optometry schools in developing countries. If a chapter would like to partner with or help a clinic or school, simply inquire of us and we will work with you.
- We recognize the accomplishments of VOSH chapter members through the Franklin Harmes Society which recognizes VOSH members who have completed more than 10 missions.
- We invite all chapter members to become a VOSH Fellow, through the prestigious VOSH Fellowship Program (FVI), designed to encourage the acquisition of knowledge, skills and experience necessary to meet the global challenge of eliminating preventable blindness, and to foster the development of future leaders prepared to carry on the mission of VOSH/International.
- We coordinate and assess applicants for the new VOSH CORPS program, which will provide US-trained optometry professors in VOSH sustainable clinics and new optometry schools.
- We provide a link to Student-VOSH Chapters, oordinate SVOSH with VOSH chapters and provide a link to AOSA.
- We obtain booth space at industry meetings in order to represent VOSH and its chapters. We encourage all chapters to host a booth at any vision expo and are happy to provide the chapters with booth displays and banners and other materials to assist you in representing your VOSH chapter and/or V/I at industry meetings.
- We provide a dedicated and knowledgeable volunteer Board of Directors and support staff.
- We provide each chapter a custom logo.
- We serve as a chapter liaison with the AOA, Optometry Giving Sight, WCO, IPAB, VISION 2020, IMEC, LIONS, ROTARY, SEE, HKW, RAM, UNESCO.
- We pay membership dues providing access in World Council of Optometry and the International Agency for the Prevention For Blindness
- We inform and educate VOSH members through the Annual Meeting, monthly chapter phone conferences, the annual report, clinic data, the website, email. We are open and respond quickly to most questions and inquiries.
- VOSH chapters can exchange ideas and seek help through an active message board and blog.
- We recruit and refer members, chapters and clinics.
- We publicize and promote VOSH chapters through newsletters, websites, trade show exhibit assistance, media assistance, Facebook, Twitter and other social media.