In 1960, Saving Sight began restoring sight through charitable vision programs, matching the needs of local communities with a spirit of giving. While our program delivery has changed throughout that history, our legacy of giving continues to grow through our mission partners.
In 2021, Saving Sight’s board of directors established a board-designated quasi-endowment fund to support grants given to charitable organizations with a similar mission. During the first round of funding in 2021, three organizations were invited to apply: KidSight, Mid-South Lions Sight and Hearing Service, Inc., and the ShowMe Eyeglass Recycling Program. Each group received funding from Saving Sight to expand their services and impact in the community.
KidSight, a program with a historical tie to Saving Sight, received the most funding, utilizing a $35,000 gift for general operating support to screen over 39,000 Missouri children for potential vision disorders. Of those children screened, 3,500 were identified to be at risk for problems like amblyopia. As part of their essential work, the KidSight team has established an enhanced follow-up process, helping families seek vision care for children as necessary.
Saving Sight also granted $15,000 in funding to the ShowMe Eyeglass Recycling Program, a nonprofit run by the Lions Clubs of District 26 M-7. This Missouri-based program serves as a collection point for recycled eyeglasses that are then read and sorted for use in medical mission trips worldwide. With grant funding, the group purchased two lensometers to read eyeglass prescriptions, a crucial part of preparing the donated glasses to go abroad. The Lions estimate that with this equipment purchase, they were able to serve 25,000 additional people worldwide.
Finally, Saving Sight granted $10,000 in funding to Mid-South Lions Sight and Hearing Services, a nonprofit out of Tennessee that provides medical services for needy vision-impaired people in our region. With funding from Saving Sight, the organization provided direct care to 16 patients from Missouri for various eye care and surgical costs. Upon reviewing reports from these three organizations, Saving Sight’s board of directors voted to renew grants in June 2023, adding one additional nonprofit to the mix. The following grants were made at the end of this fiscal year:
- KidSight – $43,000
- ShowMe Lions Eyeglass Recycling – $5,000
- Mid-South Lions Sight and Hearing Services – $5,000
- Missouri Lions Eye Mission Program – $7,000