A new charity project in Vancouver is aiming to give some of the city’s most vulnerable citizens basic vision care such as check-ups and eyeglasses that they would not otherwise have access to.
Known as The Eyeglasses Project, the initiative launches on March 4, with numerous local organizations helping to provide vision and eye health appointments.
Then on March 25, the group will once again come together and return with 50 pairs of prescription glasses for those participants that need them.
“I found my own eyeglasses were quite expensive, and it got me thinking about the accessibility eye care, a very basic human need,” said Howard Ma, who founded the project last year.
Having volunteered in Chinatown and “meeting with people from the Downtown Eastside through my various volunteer undertakings over the years, I knew there was a major need and I had to do something to help,” he said.
Collaborating with Douglas College, Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House, and Richmond Chinatown Lions Club, the project seeks to raise awareness about the demand for basic needs and services in Vancouver’s most vulnerable community while inspiring others to get involved.
Thanks to a $1,000 donation from the Richmond Chinatown Lions Club, the Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House will select 50 members from the community to participate in the project.
Students and instructors from the Douglas College Optometry Department will pack their equipment and set-up a makeshift clinic at the Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House, ensuring a safe and non-judgemental environment for participants to receive eye exams, eye health information, and a new pair of prescription glasses made specifically for each person.