The SQ Foundation has helped with funding for New Eyes for the Needy in the United States, founded in 1932 by a volunteer for the Red Cross. An employee in the HR department at the Red Cross noticed that applicants were not able to read their applications. She asked her neighbors for their unused spectacles to distribute to the applicants and ended up establishing the New Eyes organization to help people who didn’t have the money to purchase an eye test or glasses. Since its founding, New Eyes has purchased over 400,000 new pairs of glasses for the disadvantaged throughout the U.S.. New Eyes also accepts, recycles and distributes donated glasses to give to people in poverty around the world.
New Eyes recipients are low income and many receive Medicaid assistance. In California and North Carolina there is no coverage for eyeglasses. Other applicants are the working poor who have no insurance coverage to pay for them. With the Affordable Care Act which was recently adopted we have found the need has increased, as they cover the eye exams but not the cost of the eyeglasses. New Eyes collaborates with many social service agencies to help people across the country, such as children who are falling behind in school because their families cannot afford to buy them glasses. It also broadens possibilities for adults on a low income who need to fill out a job application or simply read a bus schedule, and can help give senior citizens a sense of independence and security.
Last year, the grants provided by SQ foundation allowed 86 children in Pennsylvania, 142 children and adults in North Carolina and a further 142 in California to receive new glasses. Here are some of the grateful responses by participants in the program:
“I had glasses that was broken at the frame and had lots of scratches. That why I feel awesome to have glasses, I can read the word clearly and betters. So I feel very happy to have this glasses. I wish that you can help more people like me for a very very long time.”
“Having the new glasses has helped me with my new job working in the maintenance department. I don’t know what I would have done without you. Because of your organization I have a new job, a new life. Thank you!!! God Bless You.”
“When Medicare discontinued vision coverage, I had the need of a new prescription but no way to pay for it. Thank you so much!
“My glasses have been broken for 6 months now and I am legally blind without glasses. I have been holding them together with masking tape. Through New Eyes I am getting new glasses, so now work and college will be free of frustration. Thank you!!!”