AOA members make a difference through volunteer service
More than 62 million people volunteered through or for an organization from September 2014 to September 2015, according to the most recent reports from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. And thousands of those volunteers are AOA members who make a difference through service benefitting the optometric profession and the AOA itself, as well as make an impact on their communities through Optometry Cares®—The AOA Foundation.
The foundation's mission is to expand eye care awareness, education and research, as well as access to eye health and vision care, to everyone in the United States in order to enhance human performance and quality of life.
Through the generosity of AOA-member volunteer doctors of optometry, more than 134,000 babies have been examined since the program's inception over a decade ago. As of the end of 2016, a total of 3,612 AOA-member doctors were InfantSEE providers.
Optometry Cares, through a generous grant from the Essilor Vision Foundation, is pleased to announce the Healthy Eyes Healthy Children (HEHC) Community Grants. These grants provide funding for activities that focus on increasing the outreach of vision services to communities, families, schools and the medical community with special attention to the underserved children in the U.S. Stay tuned to aoa.org/news for more information about applying for HEHC grants.
The VISION USA program, which is available in 41 states and the District of Columbia, provides no-cost eye exams for low-income individuals. The providers—of which there are currently 2,880—are AOA members who volunteer their time and services. More than 433,000 eye exams have been made possible since the program's inception in 1991.
On top of the year-round dedication of donors and member volunteers, nearly 300 runners participated in the 2016 5k Run/Walk at Optometry's Meeting® in Boston, raising more than $24,000 for the Foundation.
In a virtual kick-off, the AOA launches Leadership Institute with 130 doctors of optometry from across the country. A project of the AOA Leadership Development Committee, the Institute is a yearlong program designed to grow and support the next generation of leaders in the profession.
At the 2021 Leaders Summit, AOA-member volunteers set priorities for the year and launched new initiatives to lead the profession forward.