Imagine a farmer in India who loses his entire crop because he couldn’t see the small insects that were wreaking havoc in his fields. Or a skilled carpenter who sees his income plummet when his declining vision makes it difficult to even hammer a nail. Or a seamstress in El Salvador that can no longer work because she has become too nearsighted to thread a needle.
Unfortunately, there are hundreds of millions people around the world who face similar problems everyday because they can’t afford or don’t have access to glasses. That number is decreasing thanks to generous donations from programs such as Warby Parker’s Buy a Pair, Give a Pair program.
Teach a Man to Fish…
So what do fish and eyeglasses have in common? I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Following that adage, co-founders Neil Blumenthal and Dave Gilboa wanted to create a business model that would help those in need, without fostering dependence on charity. By working closely with non-profit organizations such as VisionSpring, Warby Parker contributes not only the gift of corrected eyesight, but also the opportunity to become self-sufficient.
Through the Buy a Pair, Give a Pair program, glasses are provided to low-income people who would not otherwise be able to afford them. In addition, the recipients receive training and support to help them start their own business of selling low-cost glasses to others. That benefits the economic welfare of the whole community by providing jobs and boosting productivity through clearer vision.
How You Can Help
If you want to help the cause, simply buy your next pair of glasses from Warby Parker. For each pair purchased, a brand new pair is donated to non-profit organizations such as VisionSpring. Since the program began, over 250,000 pairs of glasses have already been distributed. That’s over a quarter of a million people whose lives have been changed, allowing them to work, learn, and do simple things like read to their grandchildren, something that many of them haven’t been able to do for a very long time.