Giving the gift of sight

On February 29th this year Leapfrog Property Group embarked on an exciting project: collecting old prescription glasses and sunglasses in conjunction with international organization OneSight.

Bruce Swain, MD of Leapfrog explains: “My wife, Gillian, actually heard about OneSight for the first time on Cape Talk and the concept really excited her. She told me about it and we decided to adopt the project as a company”.

Since its inception five months ago over 8,000 glasses have been collected from around the country.

“We are overjoyed at this donation which far exceeds our expectations. To give you an idea of the need in South Africa; we’ll be hosting an international clinic with volunteers from across the world in Soweto later this year and will be handing out in the area of 8,000 pairs of glasses in just over seven days. These glasses will change a lot of lives”, says Odette Ninow-Cullen, One Sight Lead for South Africa.

Leapfrog would like to thank, in particular, the communities of: Melkbosstrand, Faerie Glen, Irene Vereeniging and Vanderbjilpark for really opening their hearts and taking the time to drop off their old glasses.

How OneSight works

Since its creation in 1988 One Sight, a Luxottica Foundation, has helped millions of sight impaired people around the world: from America across Africa and Asia through to Australia. The Foundation and its volunteers offer ophthalmological care to people who cannot otherwise afford it as well as providing them with recycled glasses.

All of the donated frames are cleaned and serviced before being made available to people to select their favourite, whilst attending the OneSight clinic sessions. These frames are then fitted with brand new, gifted prescription lenses and given to the patient.

It is at this juncture that the public’s involvement becomes so important in that OneSight can, and do, use all old prescription glasses – ensuring that each patient receives the best possible fit. To date over 7 million glasses have been recycled.

Petra van Asch, Principal of Leapfrog Melkbosstrand, attended a OneSight clinic on Wednesday held at The Haven retirement home in Woodstock; “My business partner and I embraced this project because the gift of these restored glasses is life altering and it’s been amazing to see how the entire town of Melkbosstrand, especially the children, has risen to the challenge. In fact, I’ve brought 21 more pairs with today.”

“I’m very happy to say that the entire Leapfrog and the communities we work in have bought into the project as well. Today we’re able to hand over a terrific amount of glasses to be recycled – ensuring that the people who stand to benefit can enjoy a better quality of life”, says Bruce Swain.

According to Ninow-Cullen the glasses collected nationally by Leapfrog, will be redistributed to South Africans, “these glasses will not be going to overseas recipients but, will be used to meet the need here. We’ll be hosting clinics around the country throughout the year and ask you to please keep on donating frames as the need is great.”

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