Local optometrist, Dr. Karen Salaj is taking part in the World Sight Day Challenge in October to help give the gift of vision to people living in areas of need.
Now in its 7th year, the World Sight Day Challenge is the largest annual global fundraising campaign to address avoidable blindness caused by uncorrected refractive error–simply the need for an eye exam and glasses.
The campaign goal for 2014, is to raise $1 million globally.
“World Sight Day is October 9, but I picked the last Thursday in October as my day, as I thought we could use the whole month to promote it and what I am doing,” said Dr. Salaj from her office at 69 Main Street in the Morrisburg Plaza, main court, last Thursday. “Everything we take in on eye exams on Thursday, October 30 will go to the World Sight Day Challenge.”
“It’s me giving, but it is also enabling the public and my patients to get involved and give too.”
The World Sight Day Challenge is run globally by Optometry Giving Sight, which was established in 2003 to address the needs of over 600 million men, women and children around the world who are blind or vision impaired simply because they don’t have access to an eye exam and a pair of glasses.
World Sight Day is an annual day of awareness held on the second Thursday of October to focus global attention on blindness and vision impairment. It is coordinated by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness and is supported by eye health organizations around the world, including Optometry Giving Sight.
Optometry Giving Sight supports programs that offer, not only eye exams and glasses in countries with little or no access to them, but that establish the infrastructure and train the local human resources required for sustainable, quality vision care. It is a registered charity in Canada and is the International Charity of Choice of the Canadian Association of Optometrists.
“This is our first opportunity to support Optometry Giving Sight and the World Sight Day Challenge,” said Dr. Salaj. “Preventable blindness is a solvable problem, and we are proud to help give sight to those in need.”
Just $5 can be enough to help provide an eye exam and a pair of glasses to someone living in an under-served community. Every contribution is meaningful.
“If you can’t see, it is difficult to learn, it is difficult to work and it is difficult to go forward in your life,” says Dr. Salaj. “Here, we are all blessed with being able to get our eye care, but it is not like this everywhere.”
In addition to Dr. Salaj donating the proceeds from eye exams on Thursday, October 30, patients, from now until the end of October, will be able to donate to the Challenge. “It doesn’t need to be anything major, but every penny counts. Our office doesn’t charge for repair or glasses adjustments, so we would like to suggest to our patients that in lieu of, they use that as a way to make a donation.”
For more information on donating or to make an appointment, Dr. Salaj’s office can be reached at 613-543-3208.
“We’d love our patients to get their eyes tested during October to help raise awareness and funds for this great cause.”