Taking our corporate partnership to the next level

Female health worker wearing pink, fills out a form while speaking with an elderly man sitting down with a young boy.
Written by Colin Zak, published on April 18, 2023 Sign up for eNews

Anyone who has ever experienced vision loss can appreciate the difference quality eye care makes. For a parent, it means the chance to provide for their family. For a child, it’s the chance to learn and thrive at school. For a senior, it means independence.

That’s why Vision Group has chosen to partner with Operation Eyesight Universal, year after year.

“We believe that everyone deserves access to clear vision, regardless of where they live – it’s universal,” says Darren Yaphe, Chief Marketing Officer of Vision Group, based in Montreal, Quebec. “Partnering with Operation Eyesight allows us to expand our mission beyond our clinic walls.”

It’s a partnership that has given their patients and staff the chance to have a wide-ranging impact in communities across South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa by helping to improve access to quality eye care.

Since its early days as two LASIK MD clinics in Montreal and Toronto in 2001, Vision Group has grown to include 10 brands with over 60 clinics across Canada and the United States, which provide laser eye surgery, refractive lens exchanges and other ophthalmic services. The organization has been donating to Operation Eyesight for the past 10 of the company’s 22 years of operations in North America.

Darren explains that Vision Group’s founders, Dr. Mark Cohen and Dr. Avi Wallerstein, were interested in Operation Eyesight’s efforts to eliminate avoidable blindness, particularly our work to prevent blinding trachoma.

Smiling young girl washes hands at water pump, woman smiles in the background.
Her smile says it all! Thanks to our donors and partners, villages across Zambia’s arid Sinazongwe district now have access to locally-available, clean water. These water sources help prevent the spread of blinding trachoma and other diseases.

“We wanted to find an organization that aligned with our goal and mission to improve and preserve eyesight,” Darren adds. “It was a natural match for our organizations.”

Vision Group has given its staff and patients across the country the chance to give back. Through payroll deductions, staff are able to give a set amount from each paycheck to Operation Eyesight and receive a tax-deductible receipt. In 2021, the organization took its giving to the next level and began donating two dollars for every online review they received.

“We make a donation for any review we receive. So, if at the end of the year we have 10,000 reviews on Google and/or Facebook, that’s $20,000 that goes to Operation Eyesight,” he explains.

Our work extends beyond providing life-changing eye surgery and glasses to patients and families that need them. Through our partnerships with local hospitals and governments, we are providing ophthalmic equipment and infrastructure as well as equipping people to look after their own eye health, through staff, volunteers and health facilities in the community. This ensures our impact is felt long after we’ve left a project area.

Danielle Gibbie, our Director of Strategic Partnerships, says Vision Group’s staff and patients are helping address the root causes of avoidable vision loss, including poverty, poor sanitation and nutrition, and gender inequality.

“Through our outreach in the community, clean water and sanitation projects, and health education, we’re addressing the drivers behind avoidable vision loss,” Danielle says.

“Corporate giving programs like the one at Vision Group are giving staff and patients the opportunity to have sustainable impact in the lives of individuals and entire communities.”

It’s an ethos that Darren says resonates with Vision Group’s patients and staff.

“Together, we’re working to improve and preserve eyesight, one patient at a time. Beyond the work we do at our clinics, partnering with Operation Eyesight is part of being a responsible global citizen,” he explains. “Giving back is part of our DNA.”

Last year, the partnership between our two organizations helped support projects in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia and Zambia. Darren explains that, for this year, Vision Group plans to partner with Operation Eyesight on specific community projects, which will allow staff and patients to directly see their impact in action.

“This is life-changing work we are doing together, and we’re proud to support it,” he says. “The future is bright.”

Thank you to everyone at Vision Group for their dedicated support! To learn more about how your company can give back, click here or email philanthropy [at] operationeyesight.com.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *