Optometry’s Fund for Disaster Relief eyes $1 million mark

December 3, 2019
Consider supporting this and other impactful Optometry Cares®—The AOA Foundation programs with your end-of-year giving.
Optometry's Fund for Disaster Relief

For every donation to Optometry's Fund for Disaster Relief, there's a colleague coming to terms with a damaged practice or home, and a life turned upside down. Consider how all the more poignant that is as the disaster fund approaches a monumental milestone.

Since 2005, Optometry's Fund for Disaster Relief (OFDR), a program of Optometry Cares ®—The AOA Foundation , has distributed nearly $1 million in financial assistance to over 500 doctors and students in 32 states immediately following natural disasters. Created in the wake of 2005's Hurricane Katrina, OFDR is optometry's exclusive financial support program in the wake of disasters and is entirely sustained by donations from our colleagues and partners in industry.

"Optometry's Fund for Disaster Relief is approaching such a bittersweet milestone with nearly $1 million in grant assistance distributed to our colleagues since 2005," says OFDR Chair Catherine Amos, O.D. "These grants helped hundreds of doctors and students over the years with damaged homes and practices, and communities dealing with months or even years of recovery.

"However, in many ways, the impact of Optometry's Fund for Disaster Relief is immeasurable when that assistance represents not only funds to start the rebuilding process but also a reminder that optometry's close-knit family is always there to help."

In recent years, OFDR has been there for doctors of optometry affected by hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes and floods, awarding more than $400,000 since 2017. Any doctor of optometry who is a victim of a disaster may apply to OFDR for up to a $4,000 grant. And, even optometry students have received assistance in a particularly devastating 2017 hurricane season.

The profession's donations help ensure OFDR keeps providing this much-needed assistance, today and into the future. Here are what two doctors of optometry in Florida had to say following 2018's Hurricane Michael:

"Thank you for the generous check you sent me in the wake of Hurricane Michael. I am humbled by your willingness and eagerness to help me and my practice during this very difficult time. Your desire to help others, especially those you've never met, during their time of need, speaks volumes about your character. I am proud to be a member of the AOA, an organization that cares and gives so much."

Adds the other: "This money is going to help my family begin to get back on our feet after the devastation Hurricane Michael has caused in our lives. We truly appreciate the generosity from the Foundation. Thank you for all the work Optometry Cares does not just for optometrists but also for the work you do in the communities they serve."

Read more about doctors of optometry recovering from natural disasters in the March 2018 issue of AOA Focus.

Make a Difference Today

Optometry Cares—The AOA Foundation is committed to seeing its vision come to fruition, raising awareness about the importance of eye health, increasing access to vision care, and providing support to doctors of optometry and students in need. Here's how you can help make a difference today:

Consider a tax-deductible donation to Optometry Cares—The AOA Foundation as part of your end-of-year giving to help support OFDR.

Learn how other Optometry Cares—The AOA Foundation programs, such as InfantSEE®, help communities gain access to and education about eye health and vision care.

Read more about how OFDR helps doctors in the wake of disasters.

Optometry's Fund for Disaster Relief

To apply for aid or donate to the cause, visit aoafoundation.org/OFDR.
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