The Eyeglass Program was developed in response to a need for vision care identified in the countries visited as part of other Rayjon programs. The purpose of the program is to provide vision correction for those unable to afford or obtain either the examination or the eyeglasses they need.
Clinics are organized each year in developing countries. Optometric professionals and support staff are recruited to conduct the clinics. Donated eyeglasses are prepared for distribution in developing countries. Volunteers are trained as Eyeglass Team members. For more information about participating in an Eyeglass Trip, please Contact us.
Rayjon Eyeglass Program Manager: Bob Topliffe
The eyeglass team actively seeks hosts for eyeglass clinics. Suggestions are encouraged from those with contacts in areas of need. Service clubs are requested to send information about our Eyeglass Program to club affiliates in countries of Latin America or the Caribbean. A minimum of two clinics are planned annually. The eyeglass program manager works with a sponsor in the host country to secure necessary approval from the Ministry of Health and the Customers Department of the host country. Sponsors have been Habitat for Humanity Affiliates, Community organizations and Rotary Clubs. It takes almost a year to arrange the clinic.
Since the first clinic in 1993, Rayjon eyeglass teams have provided vision examinations for over 26,000 patients and eyeglasses for over 20,000.
Donated sunglasses are dispensed to many and over 1500 patients have referred for specialized care. A donation of Tears Natural from Alcon Canada allowed us to provide eye drops to many of the patients at our clinics. Essilor has provided free or discount lenses which we cannot fill from our donated glasses. Georgian College’s Opticianry program has supplied us with many specialized lenses.
A typical team includes Canadian optometrists and a support staff of volunteers. We are always in need of optometrists and welcome inquiries. For more information about participating in an Eyeglass Trip please Contact us.
Eyeglass Collection and Preparation
Donated eyeglasses are washed and inspected for flaws by volunteers who also read the lens prescription of the glasses on a regular basis. A Workshop is organized in June to sort and list prescriptions by computer inventory. The glasses are packed by category into storage cartons ready for a trip to our host site.
Donations of eyeglasses can be left at the following locations:
- Grace United Church, 990 Cathcart Blvd., Sarnia, Mon-Fri 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
- Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church, 1465 Lecaron Ave, Sarnia, Tues-Fri 8:30 am – 12:30 pm and 2:00 – 4:00 pm
- In Focus Eyecare (Dr. Gerry Day & Associates), 1206 Lakeshore Rd., Sarnia, 226-778-7529
- In Focus Eyecare 120 Vidal St. N., Sarnia, 226-778-2257
- FYidoctors, 1109 Lambton Mall Rd., Sarnia
PLEASE NOTE: We are also in need of non-prescription SUNGLASSES, with polarized lenses, to dispense to patients at our clinics in Haiti, the Caribbean and Latin America. People living in these hot sunny climates experience eyestrain from excessive exposure to sunlight.
If you have sunglasses you would like to donate please drop them off any of the above locations.
Or, contact Mary Weerdenburg (Rayjon volunteer) at [email protected] or 519-541-0142. Mary can will arrange to have the glasses picked up if necessary.
For more information about participating in an Eyeglass Trip please Contact us.
Eyeglass team members are individually responsible for their own transportation costs, meals and accommodation during a trip. The eyeglass program operates through the generosity of the volunteers and Rayjon donors who directly support the eyeglass program.
I Can See Clearly Now: The Rayjon Share Care Story is a documentary about the Eyeglass Program.
It was produced under the direction of Eyeglass Program Manager Joanne Atkinson with the cooperation of CKCO in Kitchener.
Pairs of prescription eyeglasses prescribed & fitted in 9 countries
The Eyeglass Program has been featured in the award-winning Transformations Photojournalism initiative.
Rayjon Eyeglass Clinics are full of smiles as patients receive their new glasses. But the woman in the video below brought something new: