vision-related charities

It’s the end of 2010, and I know that a lot of people do end-of-year charitable giving.  If that’s you, and you’re looking for charities to support, please consider contributing to organizations that help prevent blindness and restore sight.  We all know how important vision can be, and how treatable and preventable many vision problems are, especially in children.   Unfortunately, when not treated, many of these conditions lead to blindness.  According to the World Health Organization, 80% of blindness is preventable, and 90% of blind people live in low income countries where treatment is difficult to find or afford (from Vision 2020, a program of the WHO and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness).

Here are a few organizations that are dedicated to helping treat vision problems and prevent blindness – if you know of others, please let me know:

  • ORBIS International – works in many countries around the world to provide the tools, training, and technology necessary for local partners to develop their own capacity to provide quality eye care services that are affordable, accessible and sustainable.
  • Unite for Sight – has provided eye care services to more than 1,000,000 people worldwide, including more than 36,000 sight-restoring surgeries.
  • SEVA Canada – (I mentioned SEVA Canada in a recent post, and will be donating all my earnings from Amazon this month to SEVA Canada.)  They help communities in 7 countries and regions develop their own capacity to deliver affordable eye care services. SEVA has a Gift of Sight catalog that lets you specify where your money goes.
  • Lion’s Club International Foundation – prevents blindness and restores sight through the SightFirst Program, and a number of other sight initiatives.
  • Vision 2020 member organizations – The Vision 2020 website lists 111 international organizations that are committed to eliminating avoidable blindness.  The list includes links to contact the individual organization to learn more about how you can help.

Here’s to a bright and wonderful 2011 for everyone!  Happy New Year!

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