The state of Kentucky ranks among the poorest in the United States. Kentucky working-poor families struggle to pay for basic needs like rent and food but have no resources for the simple, yet critical, tool of eyeglasses. For them, clear vision becomes a luxury. This project will provide new prescription eyeglasses to 217 Kentuckians so that they may navigate their daily lives, pursue education, gain employment and live more safely, securely and independently with clear vision.
Over 14 million Americans, 84% whom live at or below the poverty level, need but cannot afford eyeglasses according to the CDC. In Kentucky, the need is especially deep with 740,000 living in dire poverty, with no ability to obtain eyeglasses. The average cost of eyeglasses is $190 (as per VSP, a leading vision insurer), far above the ability of these families who struggle to pay for rent, food and childcare. This project will provide 217 Kentucky residents with new prescription eyeglasses.
New Eyes will provide free, new prescription eyeglasses to low-income Kentucky residents who have no other resources with which to obtain them. We work directly with Kentucky social service agencies who apply to our program on behalf of their low-income clients, receiving their New Eyes glasses within 5-10 days. Thanks to our partnerships within the optical industry, we pay only $23 for each pair of eyeglasses, far below the average price, allowing us to help more people in financial need.
The clear vision from New Eyes glasses opens up life's possibilities for 217 low-income Kentucky residents to help them rise out of poverty. With clear vision, children can read and see the classroom board, succeeding at school. Adults can search job openings, complete job applications, read bus and train schedules, finding employment. The elderly can read their prescription labels and avoid tripping obstacles, living more securely and independently.
This project has provided additional documentation in a DOCX file (projdoc.docx).