39DollarGlasses.com is an American company that was founded on the belief that a person’s quality of life should not be hindered by financial difficulties. Over a decade and a half later, the company still adheres to these beliefs by giving back to people who need it most through their partnership with the ChildSight program by Helen Keller International.
39DollarGlasses.com was founded by two eye doctors from New York. During their practice, they saw the overwhelming impact that the high cost of eyewear made on families, especially with children. They then set out to open their own optical lab on Long Island along with a highly-trained customer service team to provide proper and accurate information to all their customers. It was decided that the best way to reach more people was to open an online optical store, which at the time was considered to be an unusual concept. They refused to be discouraged and continued on their course with their purpose always guiding the way.
Although everyone should have access to eye care, the lack of vision correction is particularly impactful for children. An overwhelming majority of what a child learns in school is presented visually, so it is imperative that a child has proper vision care. During their work with Helen Keller International, they have encountered children who were thought to have learning disabilities but ended up surprising their teachers and peers when they began to thrive academically after being given a pair of glasses.
Helen Keller International travels to different locations all over the United States to provide eye exams for underprivileged children. Once it’s determined that the child needs vision-correction, they pick a frame from the wide selection provided by 39DollarGlasses.com, who have donated thousands of pairs to American children living in poverty. Sadly, there are still so many children to reach out to and both companies are diligently working together to make a difference, one city at a time.
The owners fully believe in the cause of HKI’s ChildSight program and donate the same quality frames and lenses that are sold on their website. When asked about the importance of vision screenings, 39DollarGlasses CEO, Dr. Marc Weinstein stated the following: “As doctors we know all too well that uncorrected vision problems are especially impactful for children, leaving them at great risk for missing out on potential academic success and important stages of social development.”
In 2015, 96% of the teachers surveyed by HKI saw an improvement in class participation in those students who received eyeglasses through the ChildSight program. One teacher remarked: “This program made wearing glasses something considered ‘cool’. The students who received them were more confident in class and participated more than usual”.
“For nearly 20 years ChildSight remains dedicated to making a positive and significant impact on thousands of children and families who would otherwise needlessly struggle with untreated vision disorders,” said Kindal Beckley, Program Manager for ChildSight New Jersey, who is also a Newark native and longtime community resident. “Our shared commitment with 39DollarGlasses will allow us to continue our work in meeting the high level of need for vision care among children in the Newark area and address the barriers that low-income families face in receiving the vision care they need.”