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A look into how we give sight

July 3rd, 2013 by TOMS

The loss of sight can have a dramatic impact on a person’s life, affecting a person’s family, and further, the community. We wanted to help alleviate that burden, and contribute to smart solutions to the issue of access to eye care. So we launched TOMS Eyewear, with a One for One give that saves and restores sight to people in need, and contributes to the long-term sustainability of eye care organizations around the world.

Though we don’t claim to be eye care professionals, we do know how to find strong, responsible partners who deliver the One for One promise and are committed to sustainability.

TOMS Eyewear unlocks even more potential for expert eye care provision, on the ground, in the 13 countries where we give. Through partnerships with organizations that delve deep into communities, we’re helping build lasting and professional eye care programs and create sustainable, local jobs.

Here’s the gist of how it happens…

Identify the need
In looking to how we could become not just a shoe company, but the One for One company, this fact stood before us: 285 million people across the globe are blind or visually impaired, but solutions are available to cure or prevent up to 80 percent of these cases. [source to Vision2020, 2012]

img_0829With TOMS Eyewear, we support partners who are addressing the most widespread needs in the smartest ways. When one person purchases a pair of TOMS Eyewear, a professional, locally staffed eye care program will have the resources it needs to reach one more person with eye care.

Our Sight Giving Partners

Through our partnership with Seva Foundation, our lead Sight Giving Partner, we work with a global network of eye care organizations in areas we would not otherwise be able to reach. The organizations we call our Giving Partners incorporate TOMS’ support into their strategic plans, figuring out how to use the resources provided by One for One to reach more people with eye care.

The One for One Give

On the ground, TOMS Sight Giving Partners have hospitals and clinics with teams of local professionals that provide each patient with a full eye exam before determining the best course of treatment.

TOMS offers support in one of three ways: through prescription eyewear, medical treatment or a sight-saving surgery. We give our partners a lot of flexibility in determining what mix of these services best meets their needs.

For prescription eyeglasses, local eye care professionals determine the corrective lenses a person needs. The patient is able to choose his or her own new frames. An eyewear technician then grinds the lenses to fit the patient’s exact prescription.

Our partners also treat many sight-threatening conditions — from infections, like conjunctivitis, to injuries — by prescribing medications or removing foreign objects from the eye. Each patient also receives follow-up care and education on proper eye health.

If surgery is needed, doctors will perform the necessary operation, such as a cataract or corneal surgery. Cataract surgery is particularly impactful, as cataract is the leading cause of blindness in the world, and the surgery can be done in as little as 15 minutes.

Support Beyond Medical Intervention

The One for One in eye care also leads to other exciting opportunities for our partners. It allows them to extend their services to remote locations. The organizations set up mobile “eye camps” where they work with local leaders to spread the word about access to eye care in remote areas. They then bring staff and equipment to screen all who come with vision problems. Many patients can be treated on site, and those who can’t are transported to a hospital for proper eye care.

Your purchase also allows our Sight Giving Partners to train local teachers, volunteers and community leaders to learn about basic eye health and how to screen for potential eye issues.

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TOMS Eyewear + You

With your purchase, you’re keeping the cycle going. With every pair of TOMS Eyewear you purchase, you renew opportunity for patients around the world, eager to return to work, their family and communities. And you help us invest in sustainable, smart eye care programs that are building for the future. One for One, you’re helping people in need reclaim their independence.