In this season of giving, it becomes a time of reflection about our lives and being thankful for what we have. We can also reflect on how to give back, how we can make an impact. It is important to give monetary support, but it is equally important to give of yourself and your time. If you can help, help others with whatever special skills you have.
Giving money is very impactful. Within the optometric profession there are many organizations to donate money to make a difference. Find one that you support and donate. VOSH/International can be one of those organizations. Donated money goes 100% to VOSH/International projects. These projects include local and international efforts. Locally, money can help to provide support and loaned equipment to VOSH chapters and student involvement. International projects include supporting optometric education at newly established optometry schools in developing countries through VOSH Corps. VOSH Corps is a program where North American trained optometrists become faculty members at the newly established optometry schools. VOSH/International also supports these developing optometry schools with equipment through the Technology Transfer Program (TTP).
Giving of your time is also very impactful. The ability to see enables social interaction, education, employment. Without vision these things become much more difficult. It is easy as an optometrist to use our skills to help others. Eye examinations, prescription of glasses, detection and treatment of eye conditions, detection of medical conditions through eye signs is what we do. We don’t always remember the impact you can have on someone’s life, it can be profound. Volunteer with your local VOSH chapter. VOSH clinic trips can happen internationally or in your own community. Some local VOSH activities include: clinics for populations at risk (homeless, refugees, uninsured, single mothers, struggling families), screening for glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy, educational talks at schools, nursing homes, etc. Find the way that works for you to be involved and jump in!