Providing Quality, Customized Eyeglasses and Cataract Lenses to Those Who Can’t Afford Them
In 2016 we will focus on the US and Sri Lanka[column col=”1-2″] [box title=”USA”]
Needy individuals can fax or e-mail scanned copies of a valid prescription along with a 2-page application form. We will review the request and contact the individual as necessary. They will receive their pair of eyeglasses in the mail from us within ten to fourteen business days.
Anyone needing a referral for an eye exam should also contact us and we will try to make arrangements for them.
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Needy individuals can provide us with a valid prescription via fax or mail with supporting proof of need or participate in one of our eye clinics. A custom-made pair of eyeglasses will then be provided to them in approximately ten days.
All our eyeglasses are made to order and are given in an eyeglass case with a soft cloth. Our partner vendors guarantee the quality and are available to address any follow up issues that might arise.
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Conducting Eye Clinics and Examinations
Simply put, we believe that each person who needs eye and vision care must have a proper eye examination by a certified optometrist and a custom-made pair of eyeglasses issued. Often, the very poor are not able to afford a proper eye examination. By conducting the eye clinics ourselves with certified opticians, we are able to ensure that each individual has been tested and measured appropriately for the eye wear that we will be providing them. We would not want to risk having these poor individuals suffer headaches, blurred vision, or other problems from an improperly issued pair of eyeglasses.[/column] [column size=”1-3″ style=”0″]
Partnering with Government and Non-Governmental Groups
We recognize that we are one of many organizations working towards a shared vision. We partner with Rotary and Lion’s Clubs, other local non profits, and government hospitals and clinics, and, other groups and institutions to reach and serve those in need of having their refractive errors corrected but who do not have the means to purchase the needed eyeglasses.[/column] [column size=”1-3″ last=”1″ style=”0″]
Creating a Self-Sustaining Business Enterprise
In 2016, we are continuing to test a social venture arm that could enable the organization to be self financing. In previous years, SOMS tested the opportunity to provide low-income workers and their families (individuals living on less than LKR 435 or USD $3.35 a day on average) with custom-fit eyeglasses through employers. Employers could choose to fully or partially subsidize the cost of the eyeglasses through payroll deductions. However, there was limited interest on the part of employers and considerable logistical challenges to schedule and conduct onsite clinics at employer premises.
In 2016, SOMS will test offering quality, discounted eyeglasses directly to lower income populations. Priced at a fraction of the minimum market rates, SOMS will recover costs and have a small “surplus” that will be put towards operations and free services to the very poor.