Violet Sees turned One!!!

It's hard to believe but Violet Sees is officially one year old!  

It's been an incredible year for Violet Sees. We've made huge strides in such a short period of time—we've raised more than $15k, we've hosted 10 Sips for Sight fundraisers, we've created and started a free glasses program, we've made great relationships with pediatric ophthalmologists who are all really excited about what we're doing (I had the great privilege of speaking at their annual conference in April), and Violet even made her TV debut during a CNN feature on childhood vision! 

We also recently hosted our First Annual Birthday Party!  We worked with Alexandria Nicole Cellars in Woodinville and had such a great time!  60+ people came out for a fun night of wine tasting and celebrating our first year.  We raised about $3,000 and cannot say thank you enough to our amazing supporters, most especially our recurring donors, who's ongoing support means more than I could ever articulate!  So here's to many more years!!!

Make sure to stay in the loop on what we're up to by liking our Facebook page and joining our email list

World Sight Day

 

It's World Sight Day!

The second Thursday in October is globally recognized as a day to bring awareness to blindness and vision impairment.  The Lions Club International held the first event in 1988, and this year’s theme is “Eye care for all”.  

As I’ve learned to navigate the world of childhood vision, I think I’ve learned enough about eyes to clearly dominate should the Jeopardy category ever come up!  

 

Did you know….

  • The human eye can distinguish about 10M different colors and some women can actually see even millions more due to a genetic mutation.
  • Blue eyed people have higher alcohol tolerance.
  • The eye can differentiate more shades of green than any other color, which is why night vision goggles are green.
  • Human eyes can actually distinguish over 500, not just 50, shades of gray.
  • Eyes are made up of over 200M parts.
  • Men are more likely to be color blind.
  • The function of tears is to keep the eyes clean and scientists don’t know why we cry when we’re sad.
  • We see things upside down, and then the brain flips them right side up. If you wore glasses that turned things upside down, it would take a few days, but eventually your brain would begin to flip them right side up again.

 

If you’re looking for ways to celebrate this incredible day, check out what other organizations and companies are doing!

IAPB is hosting a photo competition, pro or amateur. Be sure to post any cool eye related photo to Instagram with #eyecareforall.

Personally, I’m a pretty big fan of TOMS eyewear, not only because their shades are amazing, but also because every purchase also supports eye care and exams for those in need.

141 Eyewear is a really cool northwest eyewear company. For each pair of their frames purchased, they’ll give another pair to someone in need.  And what’s really cool is that they give away their own frames and are committed to giving quality eyewear to those in need locally.

You can also support our very own Violet Sees!  This year’s theme of, “Eye care for all,” couldn’t resonate more with us.  We look forward to the day when lack of eye care and treatment is a thing of the past and it will be absurd that at one time 80% of the world’s blindness was preventable.

 

 

Back to School

Violet was SO excited for her first day back to preschool!

Violet was SO excited for her first day back to preschool!

For some reason, even though I’m well beyond school age, the back-to-school time of year always conjures up memories of picking out my outfit, packing my backpack and the half-excited, half-nervous first day feelings. I find myself feeling the same for all of the super adorable kiddos I see all over social media. 

Violet starts her second year of preschool this year, though it’s becoming alarmingly clear that we are only ONE year away from her first day of kindergarten. Yikes! I think I feel the same way about her starting school as I did each year. She is growing up to be such a funny and curious little girl.  It’s so fun to see her personality, and she’s got a lot of it! I know when the time comes she will love school, and I can’t wait for her.  

Violet got to practice going to kindergarten at Panda's (aka Grandpa Mike) school.

Violet got to practice going to kindergarten at Panda's (aka Grandpa Mike) school.

But, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that part of me is nervous because I don’t really know how her vision will affect her learning or her social development. I have all the confidence that she will do great, but I also know that the ability to see well at school is hugely important. 80-90% of what a child learns is visual, yet one in four kids suffer from some kind of vision problem. That’s almost 5 million kids! And as much as 60% of learning disabilities are associated with vision problems.  

The ability to see well at school, or lack thereof, is way more significant than I ever even knew.  And it’s important to remember that most kids with a vision problem only know the way they see, and don’t know it should be different. Since starting to work on Violet Sees, I’ve heard so many stories from adults who remember how difficult it felt at school when they were young.  They didn’t know why it was hard until the first time they got glasses. Suddenly everything was clear and they were able to flourish at school.

Being a parent is most definitely not for the faint of heart, and with so many frightening things coming at our kids it’s easy to be overwhelmed. But the encouraging part? Many vision problems are treatable. Knowing more about common eye problems and what signs to look for are your best lines of defense in making sure your sweet kiddo has their very best year at school.

Tons of information exists, but a lot of it can be overwhelming and hard to understand. As you prepare to embark on the school year with your children, check out some of my favorite resources on eye health below:

The American Optometric Association has great information on signs to look for if your child might have a vision problem and when to go see a doctor.

All About Vision explains some types of learning-related vision problems (and the difference between problems and disabilities), symptoms to look for and different treatments.

AAPOS (American Assoc. for Pediatric Ophthalmology & Strabismus) gives some reasons kids need glasses and helpful advice for parents of kids with new glasses.