Eye-care industry reaching out to help hurricane victims

October 15, 2005

The devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina is spurring generosity by many in the eye-care industry.

The devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina is spurring generosity by many in the eye-care industry.

Dallas-based Essilor of America Inc., for example, is pledging up to $500,000 to a variety of funds established to help victims–including associations such as the American Optometric Association (AOA), Vision Council of America (VCA), and others.

Essilor also plans to provide lenses and lab services as needed. Those who need help should contact Heather Allen at Essilor of America, 214/496-4811.

VCA has created the Vision Alliance and Relief Fund to collect corporate and private donations, which VCA promises to match, up to $150,000. Money will be split among the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund, the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation, the Mississippi Hurricane Recovery Fund, the Alabama Governor's Emergency Relief Fund, and mobile vision vans.

To donate, call 703/548-4560, visit http://www.visionsite.org/, or send contributions to Vision Alliance and Relief Fund, 1700 Diagonal Road, Suite 500, Alexandria, VA 22314.

Meanwhile, just a few months after Advanced Medical Optics Inc. (AMO) raised more than $120,000 for the tsunami relief efforts in Southeast Asia, the company has stepped forward with money and clothing for the hurricane victims.

AMO sent the American Red Cross a check for $12,410, which reflected employee donations and a corporate pledge of $10,000. Employees in the Santa Ana, CA, and Santa Clara, CA, offices also collected 200 boxes of clothing, totaling about 4,000 pounds, that were shipped to Texas to help evacuees, said AMO spokesman Steve Chesterman. The company also sent cases of contact lens care solutions and contact lens cases to Wal-Mart Vision Centers in Texas to help the hurricane victims, he said.