Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee 2021-02-10 04:28:00 –
Nashville, Tennessee (WSMV)-For the past four years, Linda Hochberg has been collecting eyeglasses.
“Glasses have different tastes,” Hochberg said, laughing, looking at the 172 pairs lined up on the dining room table.
Hochberg first started this mission after learning one simple fact.
“I found that 90% of all eye disorders could be improved with eyeglasses, which was unbelievable to me.”
In fact, the World Health Organization reports that at least one billion people worldwide have vision impairments that have been prevented or have not yet been addressed.
Hochberg has begun collecting donations in the front porch basket with the help of neighbors on the popular website Nextdoor.
She called Nextdoor a great catalyst for the project.
“I got the attention of the general public and Nashville as a whole. In many different areas, people are dropping their glasses. It makes everyone feel great because it contributes to everyone.”
When her mission began, she dropped her glasses on the local Costco for the “New Eyes” program.
“It’s really important that the kids can see and learn, and that was easy for me.”
However, the pandemic seemed to temporarily suspend the program as Hochberg said “New Eyes” had stopped accepting eyeglasses because of COVID-19.
“So I started collecting my own eyeglasses and kept them until their New Eyes program was reopened, and just a few weeks ago I learned that they weren’t collecting eyeglasses anymore. ”
Eyeglasses have been piled up since March, but she finally found a new organization, the VSP “Eyes of Hope”. This is a company that focuses on access to eye care regardless of income, distance or disaster barriers.
“I like the idea of community involvement, which gives everyone the opportunity to give and feel good about it,” Hochberg said. “I just collect them, but the people who donated them are really, really grateful.”
Looking at the glasses, Hochberg remembers that each pair has its own story, preferably a new person’s new life. One of the pairs shipped to “Eyes of Hope” belongs to her father.
“It was a feeling of keeping him alive on its own,” she said.
For this care package, she initially planned to send 172 pairs, but found another 13 pairs to 180. I hope 180 people will be able to see more clearly. In total, she is currently donating about 443 pairs.
When Hochberg started, she was only planning to collect 100 pairs. “Now I have set my goal to 1000. I want to collect a thousand pairs of glasses, but I can continue.”
News4 contacted VSP Eyes of Hope and asked about Hochberg’s donation.
Ashley Torres Avila, a VSP spokesman, said:
“Everyone deserves a good look, but because they don’t have access to the eye care and eyewear they need, more than 1.3 billion people around the world live with vision impairments. From gentle-used eyeglasses and readers. Donations help give people in need a new outlook on life. Donated eyewear is cleaned and sorted before being provided to an ophthalmologist to participate in missionary trips around the world.
Most of the donations we receive are made through the VSP network’s doctors and client organizations, collecting eyeglasses that have been gently used on our behalf. As a result, it is certainly unusual to receive such a large donation from a member of the community. We would like to thank Hochberg for his donation and his message about the importance of access to vision care. For more information on this program and all the initiatives, please visit: vspeyesofhope.com.. ”
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