Vision Care Specialists’ Optician Changes Lives in El Salvador

Adrian Miller, one of our certified opticians, recently completed an inspiring community service trip to Central America. Adrian joined a team of fifteen healthcare professionals on a mission trip to El Salvador, where they provided free public healthcare to the town of Ataco. Over a three day period, from May 23rd to 27th, their clinic treated 1,000 patients from the town’s 18,000 people. Adrian and other Colorado optometrists in the vision clinic saw 400 patients, performing retinoscopies and matching people with a pair of glasses from the collection of 1,500 donated pairs they brought on the trip.

“It was a wonderful experience giving eye care to the people of Ataco, who have no access to healthcare—let alone eye care,” Adrian said after returning to the United States and Vision Care Specialists. “It was very rewarding to experience a seven-year-old seeing what his mother looked like for the very first time.  It has inspired me to commit myself to continue caring for the people of Ataco.”

We are so proud of Adrian for traveling far away and spreading the Vision Care Specialists commitment to improving lives through improved visions. Glasses can improve lives. Costing almost a year’s salary in some developing countries, glasses can mark the difference between dropping out of school and going to college, between destitution and employment. But while a billion people in developing countries cannot afford the glasses they need, North America throws away about four million pairs of glasses each year. So think twice, because your distance glasses, reading glasses, and even sunglasses could change someone’s life rather than sit on a landfill or in the pack of your dresser drawer.

How to use this Information

Organizations like the Lions Club, Goodwill, and Unite for Sight will recycle your old Colorado glasses (as long as they are not badly damaged), prepare them for redistribution, and get them to needy people all across the globe. The Lions Club collects 5.5 million and donates 3 million pairs of glasses a year, and it says it can do all this for $0.08 per pair. Each of our four locations has glasses drop-boxes for eyeglass donations.  If you have some old pairs just gathering dust, stop by and drop them off—it could be life-changing for a person at home or in a developing country without access to affordable eye care.  Call Vision Care Specialists today at 303-991-9600 to schedule a Denver eye exam to see whether it’s time to change your prescription and donate your current pair!

Tell us where you have taken old eyeglasses or any experience you have with glasses redistribution.