World Sight Day Challenge is from September 1 through October 14.

Student Volunteer Contest- Greg Carr in Haiti (2008)

The World Sight Day Challenge is a major fundraising campaign coordinated by Optometry Giving Sight® to raise funds for projects that provide vision care, local training and infrastructure support for people who are blind or vision impaired due to uncorrected refractive error – simply the need for an eye exam and a pair of glasses. Optometrists, industry professionals and optometry students alike participate in the World Sight Day Challenge each year.

Optometry students are invited to take part in the World Sight Day Challenge Student Volunteer Contest. The WSDC Student Volunteer Contest is endorsed by the American Optometric Student Association and open to all optometry students in the United States and Canada.

The two winning students will spend one week providing support to the development of sustainable vision care projects in a developing country. Winners will be given a listing of potential projects from which to choose including projects in Central America and South America. . The winning students will travel in 2011; each will receive a $1000 travel voucher from Optometry Giving Sight to fund the cost of their trip.

University of Waterloo student Greg Carr was the winning student in 2008 and volunteered his services for a week on an Optometry Giving Sight sponsored project in Haiti. “It was truly a gift, to be able to join such an important undertaking,” said Greg. “Not very often do I get to feel like I am a part of something so fundamental to the wellbeing of humanity. I can’t even describe how honored and privileged I felt. I was able to learn about my profession, myself, as well as having the chance to interact with a number of amazing people in the process. I don’t know what to call it other than remarkable.”

Contest winners this year will be selected on the following guidelines:

  • Proven leadership skills in managing their World Sight Day Student Challenge campaign on campus,
  • Establishment and management of a Team Fundraising webpage to support their World Sight Day Student Challenge and,
  • Writing an essay (500 words maximum) that expresses how the student successfully managed their World Sight Day Student Challenge, why they are interested in working in a developing country and how they will use their experience abroad to help other in the optometric community become aware of the visual needs of those in developing countries.
  • Students may apply for the WSDC Student Volunteer Contest by downloading the application form at www.givingsight.org and faxing a signed copy to Optometry Giving Sight at 303-279-8042. Students may also email a scanned copy of the signed application to usa@givingsight.org. All applications and essays must be received no later than October 31, 2010.
  • Photographs, patient stories and videos collected during the trip will be used in Optometry Giving Sight’s fundraising materials. The winners will also have the opportunity to speak about their trip with student groups, media and other professional organizations or groups.

The WSDC Student Volunteer Contest is funded by VOSH (Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity) and Optometry Giving Sight. To learn more about Optometry Giving Sight visit www.givingsight.org or VOSH please visit www.vosh.org.

About Optometry Giving Sight®

  • Optometry Giving Sight® is a joint initiative of the World Optometry Foundation, the International Centre for Eyecare Education and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness. National industry sponsors include CIBA VISION, the Brien Holden Vision Institute, Marchon, Vision Source! and AllAboutVision.com. Optometry Giving Sight® is a tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

About World Sight Day

  • World Sight Day is an initiative of VISION 2020: The Right to Sight and is supported by the World Health Organization (WHO); the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness and non-government organizations with the shared goal of eliminating avoidable blindness by the year 2020, in order to give all people in the world the right to sight. This year, World Sight Day will be held on Thursday October 14, and focuses on VISION 2020’s theme of the ‘Countdown to 2020’.

About the World Sight Day Challenge

  • The World Sight Day Challenge is a major fundraising campaign coordinated by Optometry Giving Sight® which is designed to raise funds for projects that provide vision care, local training and infrastructure support for people who are blind or vision impaired due to uncorrected refractive error – simply the need for an eye exam and a pair of glasses.

Optometrists are invited to participate by:

  • Donating their eye exam fees from one day between September 1-October 14,
  • Or becoming a regular donor on or before World Sight Day (October 14, and
  • Inviting patients to make a donation during the World Sight Day Challenge.