Sight For Poor Eyes: Gift of Vision Gives New Hope

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (April 19, 2016)  Sight can make the difference between a life of poverty and a life of opportunity for many in the developing world. Thanks to a generous donation from FGX International and RestoringVision to Food For The Poor, the future looks a lot brighter with a gift that can help restore clearer vision.

FGX International, the maker of iconic Foster Grant® sunglasses, the oldest sunglasses brand in the United States, and the nonprofit RestoringVision have donated 475,000 reading glasses to Food For The Poor in 2015.

The nonprescription glasses and accessories were recently distributed to the needy poor in El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras and Jamaica.

"I am proud to share that FGX has provided over 4.8 million pairs of glasses to RestoringVision. Everyone at FGX should feel great about our role in changing peoples’ lives," said Tim Swartz, FGX’s Vice President of Optical, Sport and Alternate Channels. "Poor vision is the largest disability in the world."

"We wanted to work with Food For The Poor because (it) has a great reputation and a good distribution network to get the glasses to the people who need them," said Mark Sachs, Founder of RestoringVision.

"We are so grateful to FGX International and RestoringVision for this donation so that the people we serve can enjoy the benefits of corrective vision that is so hard to come by in developing countries," said Angel Aloma, Food For The Poor Executive Director. "It is especially heartwarming to know that this will help them prosper."

The Vision Impact Institute estimates 2.5 billion people around the world suffer from vision problems that are left uncorrected because of a lack of awareness, access, and, to a lesser degree, acceptance.

Reading glasses promise clearer vision, but for the poor, they are either inaccessible or unaffordable, forcing millions to live below their potential.

Since 2003, RestoringVision has distributed 5 million pairs of glasses, partnering with more than 1,400 charitable organizations such as Food For The Poor and working in more than 115 countries around the world.

According to RestoringVision, the lack of access to glasses results in an annual loss of $272 billion to the global economy. Studies show that a pair of glasses increases productivity by 35 percent and income by 20 percent. For someone earning $2 a day, that is $140 of additional income a year, an extraordinary return on investment.

"One of the great things about reading glasses is that they are easy to dispense and their impact is immediate," said RestoringVision Founder Mark Sachs. "We’re confident that they will be very welcomed by the people receiving them and a great experience for the people who provide them."

FGX International, based in Smithfield, R.I., is the world’s leading designer and marketer of nonprescription reading glasses and sunglasses with a portfolio of established, highly recognized eyewear brands including Foster Grant®, Sight Station®, Magnivision®, Gargoyles®, Anarchy®, Corinne McCormack®, SolarShield® and PolarEyes®.

RestoringVision, a nonprofit based in San Rafael, Calif., works to change the lives of those unable to read, maintain a job, or remain a productive member of their community because their vision is impaired and they lack access to a simple tool: reading glasses. Its mission is to distribute more than 5 million reading glasses and sunglasses annually by the end of the decade. For more information, please visit www.restoringvision.org.

Food For The Poor, one of the largest international relief and development organizations in the world, does much more than feed millions of the hungry poor in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance, with more than 95 percent of all donations going directly to programs that help the poor. For more information, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.

Michael Turnbell

Public Relations
954-427-2222 x 6054
michaelt@foodforthepoor.com