More women than men are at risk for vision loss from eye diseases like glaucoma and macular degeneration. To help ensure more women have access to critical eye care, Draper James, the Southern-inspired lifestyle brand founded by Reese Witherspoon, announced a partnership with VSP Eyes of Hope, which helps increase vision care access to those disadvantaged by income, distance and disaster.
Following Draper James’ launch of their optical eyewear line with VSP Global’s Altair Eyewear earlier this year, the two organizations are coming together to connect thousands of young women in Nashville to local VSP network doctors for no-cost eye exams and glasses. The recipients of that care will include girls and teens who are a part of Girls Inc., a nonprofit described as a place where “girls learn to value their whole selves, discover and develop their inherent strengths, and receive the support they need to navigate the challenges they face.” To date, more than 4,000 girls have been impacted with life-changing experiences and personal mentorship via the Girls Inc. affiliate in Middle Tennessee.
“We believe everyone deserves to see their world in focus, yet many live with vision impairment and without access to the care they need,” said Michael Guyette, President and CEO of VSP Global. “We are honored to be able to join Draper James and Girls Inc. to empower young women through sight—to help them walk with confidence and maximize their potential.”
The partnership will come to life for the first time on June 11 and 12 when the VSP Eyes of Hope mobile clinic visits Girls Inc. at YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee’s summer STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) camp for participants ages 7-14 years old. Local VSP network doctors will volunteer their time onboard the 40-foot clinic to provide comprehensive eye exams, and Draper James will be on-site outfitting campers with eyeglasses, Draper James totes and cosmetic bags. The participants will also hear from a VSP network doctor who will share her own personal journey as part of the camp programming.
“Draper James is very passionate about helping young women and what is more essential then the ability to see clearly to perform well in school and ultimately in your career?” said Taylor Rettig, CEO of Draper James. “We are thrilled to be able to partner with VSP Eyes of Hope to change the way these girls see the world, while feeling confident about how the world sees them – strong, stylish, smart and bold.”
Following the camp, the multi-year initiative will continue by way of distribution of VSP Eyes of Hope gift certificates to Girls Inc. recipients, in addition to other regional community partners, which provide access to a local VSP network doctor for a no-cost eye exam and glasses.