RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif., Aug. 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- There are 1.5 million veterans in the United States whose daily lives are affected by vision issues that often originate from active duty service. For these veterans, a highly trained guide dog can empower them to lead active, independent lives. Today, not-for-profit VSP® Vision Care, the nation's leading vision care company, announced a partnership with America's VetDogs®, a not-for-profit guide and service dog school that serves the needs of veterans with disabilities, to launch the Vision to Share campaign. Through the campaign, VSP will provide up to $50,000 to raise, train and place a guide dog with a veteran who is blind or has low vision.
People nationwide are encouraged to participate by visiting SeeMuchMore.com and sharing the Vision to Share video. Every time a person shares the video through Facebook, Twitter or email, VSP will make a donation toward the care and training of a guide dog.
"As a not-for-profit, VSP invests in tackling vision-related challenges around the globe, including those our veterans may face," said VSP Vision Care President Jim McGrann. "VSP has a deep commitment to supporting U.S. military members and veterans through our ongoing hiring efforts, employee-led veterans resource group and dedication to ensuring all have access to quality eye care and eyewear. The Vision to Share campaign is a natural extension of our efforts and provides an easy way for everyone to join our commitment to improve the life of a visually impaired veteran."
In addition to the online component of the Vision to Share campaign, VSP's mobile eye care clinics will travel to three U.S. cities and provide free eye care to veterans and families in need. The clinic will make stops in:
- Dallas, Texas, on September 3
- Sacramento, California, on World Sight Day, October 9
- Washington, D.C., on Veterans Day, November 11
There will also be activities on-site, including guide dog trainers, who will discuss the training process; opportunities to meet a guide dog or guide dog in training; and veterans who have been successfully matched with a guide dog.
"America's VetDogs has placed more than 300 assistance dogs with veterans with disabilities at no cost to the veterans," said Wells Jones, CEO of America's VetDogs. "Campaigns such as Vision to Share are critical to our mission, and VSP has been a wonderful partner. Not only are we raising awareness about the struggles faced by veterans with low vision, but we're also inspiring the greater community to band together to improve the lives of these American heroes."
To date, through Eyes of Hope® charity programs, including VSP Mobile Eyes®, VSP Global® companies have invested nearly $167 million in free eye care and eyewear for close to 915,000 adults and children in need.
For more information about the VSP Vision to Share campaign, as well as to find eye health resources and more, visit SeeMuchMore.com.
About VSP Global
VSP Global® unites industry-leading businesses to bring the highest quality eye care and eyewear products and services to help people see across the globe. VSP Global businesses include not-for-profit VSP® Vision Care, the largest vision care company with more than 71 million members and a network of 30,000 eye doctors in the U.S., Australia, United Kingdom, Canada and Ireland; Marchon® Eyewear Inc., one of the three largest global manufacturers, designers and distributors of quality fashion and technologically advanced eyewear and sunwear; Eyefinity®, the largest EHR and premier practice management software company for the eye care industry; VSP Optics Group, industry leaders in new lens technologies, production processes, service and logistics; and VSP Retail, delivering a memorable consumer experience through a variety of channels that meet the diverse needs of VSP customers. VSP Global businesses operate in 100 countries on six continents.
About America's VetDogs
America's VetDogs (www.VetDogs.org) serves the needs of veterans with disabilities from all eras who have honorably served our country. VetDogs trains and places guide dogs with individuals who are blind; service dogs for those with other physical disabilities; and physical and occupational therapy dogs to work with service members in military and VA hospitals. It is accredited by Assistance Dogs International and the International Guide Dog Federation.
America's VetDogs is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization founded by the Guide Dog Foundation and relies on voluntary contributions to fund its mission. It costs over $50,000 to breed, raise, train, and place one assistance dog; however, there is never a charge to the individual.
Daphne Engle Laughridge
America's VetDogs Contact:
SOURCE VSP Vision Care