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Opchat Magazine Charity PageCharity News, October to December 2017



Louis Stone assists in Students fundraising and practical help on two continents.
AAO makes donation in Honour of 2017 Brien Holden Humanitarian Awardee
Crisis at Christmas 2017 Calls For Volunteers.

Louis Stone assists in Students fundraising and practical help on two continents.

November 2017

Testing in Malawi

Cardiff University students fundraise for Malawi

A group from Cardiff University recently took on a charity project in Malawi to help test the eyes of the population in need.

They fundraised and were provided cross cyls and a half eye trial frame (picture 1) from Louis Stone for the initiative.


Ulster's Optometry Students took part in World Sight Day fundraiser.

World Sight Day
Optometry students at Ulster University took part in a 5km walk/run for World Sight Day on Wednesday 18th October.

This event helped to raise awareness of vision among staff and students at the University as part of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness’s ‘Make Vision Count’ campaign.

£500 was raised during this event which will be donated to SeeBallymena, a charity which provides eye care to homeless and financially disadvantaged people living in Northern Ireland.

"We would like to especially thank Louis Stone for donating £25 to this cause."said Emma McConnell, a research associate, at Ulster University,

AAO makes donation in Honour of 2017 Brien Holden Humanitarian Awardee

November 2017

The American Academy of Optometry is pleased to announce a $5,000 donation has been made to VOSH/International in honour of C. Ellis Potter, OD, FAAO, the 2017 inaugural recipient of the Brien Holden Humanitarian Award. Dr. Potter was recognized at the Academy 2017 Chicago Awards Ceremony on Friday, October 13, 2017.

The Brien Holden Humanitarian Award honors the memory and work of Professor Brien Holden, PhD, DSc, FAAO. This award recognizes an individual or organization who has made significant contributions to improve eye care within a country or region. In particular, the award acknowledges humanitarian efforts in the non-profit sector that build or support the development of sustainable eye care systems in developing communities. The Academy annually makes a $5,000 donation to the charity or cause of the awardee’s choice.

“The American Academy of Optometry has paid me the highest compliment with the Brien Holden Humanitarian Award. I in turn want to express my appreciation to the late Professor Brien Holden, and thank the Brien Holden Vision Institute, for educating, inspiring and motivating many to the cause of avoidable blindness. Additionally, my thanks go to the many non-profits, partners and individuals that have joined and supported sustainable eye care causes,” said Dr. Potter.

Dr. Potter was recognized for this award due to his lifetime record of humanitarianism and long and distinguished career with VOSH/International where he played a big role in helping the organization evolve from its original model that provided care in week long clinic trips to developing countries to a model that works with local optometry and health care organizations to create sustainable models. Dr. Potter, an Academy Emeritus Fellow, also holds the distinction of being a Diplomate and served as Chair of the Academy’s Comprehensive Eye Care Section. He was also awarded the VOSH/International Dr. Harry I. Zelter Lifetime Achievement Award at the VOSH/International annual meeting in Chicago in October 2017.

The Brien Holden Humanitarian Award, established by the Brien Holden Vision Institute and Holden family estate, will be awarded annually. Nominations for 2018 should include two letters of nomination from Academy Fellows and a CV of the nominee.

Crisis at Christmas 2017 Calls For Volunteers.

October 2017

Styles, Brandi and PaulThe optical service of Crisis at Christmas is looking for keen volunteers to make the clinics as successful as last year. During the seven days of clinics hundreds of homeless people come to have their eyes examined and last year 289 pairs of specs were dispensed and 22 referrals made to hospital for further investigations.

Vision Care for Homeless People, which has been running the service in conjunction with Crisis for 14 years, is also looking for donations of domiciliary kit that can be used at the various London centres.

Elaine Styles, Chair of VCHP, explained “Each Christmas, the generous optical industry comes to our aid, lending us domiciliary testing equipment, donating frames and supplies and glazing spectacles. This December we are looking to provide a comprehensive service for what is, sadly, a growing homeless population in our capital.”

The temporary London clinics are under the umbrella of broader healthcare services provided by Crisis in a caring, warm, environment which offers companionship and hot meals.

Some six teams of volunteers each day will visit the various Crisis at Christmas centres for homeless people across London to test eyes and prescribe glasses. Ophthalmologists, optometrists, dispensing opticians, optical assistants and optometry students can all volunteer here.

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