Join Optometry Cares® in supporting the only disaster relief fund for optometrists
As people prepare their year-end giving, the AOA is highlighting the many charitable and volunteer programs of your charity, Optometry Cares®—The AOA Foundation.
Damage to structures and equipment is only part of the challenge practices face.
When disasters threaten to keep optometrists from doing what they do best—caring for patients—Optometry's Fund for Disaster Relief steps in to help. This week's example comes after a series of destructive tornadoes in the Midwest on Nov. 17. Optometry Cares® sprang into action to aid ODs in Oklahoma last May and on the East Coast after Hurricane Sandy's devastation last fall.
"During the time last year when Hurricane Sandy devastated the Jersey Shore, I was able to turn to optometry through the Optometry Cares® grant, and they helped me and my practice get back on our feet," said Maria Richman, O.D., who practices in New Jersey.
The fund now stands ready to provide grants to optometrists affected by the November Midwest tornadoes.
You can help fellow optometrists by:
- Supporting Optometry Cares® through online donations
- Mailing a check donation to Optometry Cares®, 243 N. Lindbergh Blvd., First Floor, St. Louis, MO 63141
- Promoting the Optometry's Fund For Disaster Relief application process within your state affiliate
- Contacting Optometry Cares® (800-365-2219) or your state affiliate with information about affected optometrists
A history of help
Optometry Cares® created the fund in the wake of Hurricane Katrina to provide immediate financial relief to optometrists in need. More recently, the fund has given more than $40,000 in grants to help practices recover from Hurricane Sandy.
After a natural disaster, the damage to structures and equipment is only part of the challenge practices face. Many optometrists see their patients disperse to other areas of the country, which hampers financial recovery efforts. In some cases, it may be months before an optometrist's home community stabilizes enough for recovery to begin. Without a practice or patients, these optometrists have no means for generating income and require help to meet basic needs.
Optometry's Fund for Disaster Relief has changed the lives of many optometrists by providing immediate financial relief for urgent needs, such as food, clothing, and shelter.