Started in 2017, The Eyeglasses Project is a Vancouver-based, volunteer-led initiative whose mission is to: Make Eyesight Accessible. We bring together skilled and resourceful people to help the vulnerable get access to eye examinations and prescription eyeglasses. The skilled include optometrists and other eye care professionals. The resourceful includes community service organizations and sponsors. The Eyeglasses Project was initially founded with the goal to provide the marginalized who reside in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside with a basic tool, eyeglasses, to help them live more productive lives. Our renewed goal is to serve 1,000,000 disenfranchised people across Canada.
Making Eyesight Accessible.
During our Carnegie Community Centre Project on October 23, 2018. Downtown Eastside, Vancouver.
Who we are.
Founder and Chair
DR. HARBIR SIAN
“This idea came up back in February 2017 when I was looking to pick up a brand new pair of glasses for myself, but then I remembered something; the last pair I bought costed $800 and that got me thinking about something — what do the poor and low-income do when they need a new pair of glasses?”
— Howard Ma, Founder of The Eyeglasses Project
We wondered, do the marginalized people do without glasses or do they use a really old prescription? Our founder and chair, Howard Ma, felt like something was missing there and wanted to do something about it. A team of a few people got together around December 2017 to work on our first pilot project that successfully launched in March 4, 2018.
What We Accomplished.
March 4 2018
Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House | Pilot Project
Our pilot project ran on Sunday, March 4th, 2018 at the Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House (“DTESNH”). Approximately 50 seniors who frequent the DTESNH were provided…
October 23 2018
Carnegie Community Centre | A Day-Long With Ollie Quinn
On Tuesday, October 23 at the Carnegie Community Centre, The Eyeglasses Project teamed up with Ollie Quinn to provide eye exams and prescription glasses to…
March 10 2019
Coast Mental Health | Helping Vulnerable See Clearly
On March 10, 2019, we partnered with Coast Mental Health, local optometrists, the Richmond Chinatown Lions club, and eyeware company Ollie Quinn to make the…
May 15 2019
Ray-Cam Centre | Eyecare for the Children
The Eyeglasses Project came on May 15th to provide free eye glasses to the community. The event was a great success and we’re happy to…
September 29 2019
Britannia Community Service Centre | For Children’s Vision #BackToSchool
Just over three weeks ago, The Eyeglasses Project served low income families from the inner-city. We worked with four VSB schools in making this happen…
November 3 2019
Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House | Supporting The Immigrants
Thanks to the incredible team at Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House who worked closely with us and many weeks prior. Their dedication and commitment to improving…
December 15 2019
Salvation Army Vancouver Harbour Light | 20/20 Vision In 2020
There were lots of reasons why we were not going to do a pro-bono clinic in December. For example, we assumed volunteers would be too…
October 3 2021
Pacific Community Resources Society | We’ve returned after two years!
After a COVID-induced hiatus over the past 18+ months, The Eyeglasses Project is ready to once again Make Eyesight Accessible! The clinic we did today …
Recent Media Coverage
What's been happening?
New local charity project to give free eyeglasses to Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside residents by Daily Hive Vancouver, Feb 21, 2019
Eyeglasses Project focused on helping Vancouver’s vulnerable see more clearly by CBC News, Mar 11, 2019
Volunteers offer free eye care to seniors in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside by Amy Smart, The Canadian Press, March 5, 2018
The Eyeglasses Project is helping low income people in #Vancouver see clearly again by BCIT News, March 7, 2018
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Bring the Community Together.
The Eyeglasses Project brings together a community of skilled and resourceful people ready to make a difference. This includes optometrists, other eye care professionals, community service organizations and sponsors. If you’d like to get involved in making eyesight accessible in your community, then please contact us below. We’d love to hear your proposal!
Let’s talk accessible eye care and send us a message below!
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