Once a week, for 52 weeks this year, OpsLens will post a card highlighting Post 9/11 Frontline Leaders. And, yes, this is a spinoff from the 2003 Deck of Most Wanted Playing Cards! This time around, we are talking about, honoring, and bringing awareness to post 9/11 businesses or charities launched by the military community.
You’ll learn the top facts about these organizations, as well as why they made the list, which comes down to impact, scalability, health and unique value proposition. We encourage you to look for these weekly updates, share the card with your network, and support or buy the products and services they offer. See the 52 Most Wanted Post 9/11 Frontline Leaders launch story here.
8 of Diamonds | Global Vision 2020
It was on a deployment to Morocco as a U.S. Marine Corps Logistics Officer that J. Kevin White had a life-altering moment. He observed a shipment of charity eyeglasses being passed out—without regard to determining if the glasses were the correct prescription for the users. A lifelong wearer of spectacles himself, Kevin thought there had to be a better, more efficient way to helping the estimated 2.5 billion people in need of eyeglasses. Upon his retirement in 2009, Kevin launched Global Vision 2020, a U.S. charity on an international mission to deliver corrective eyeglasses to people in the developing world—eyeglasses that would specifically benefit each user.
Kevin saw firsthand on those military humanitarian assistance missions that vision effects every aspect of one’s life, from a person’s ability to learn how to read, to employment or simply driving. He quickly identified that conventional methods of eyeglass distribution were not scalable or sustainable. He would need to create a tool that was cheap and easy to use, that would allow nearly anyone (not just eye care professionals) to prescribe and then distribute eyeglasses. He partnered with PolyOne and created a new technology known as USee, a unique, patented diagnostic tool that allows users to adjust dials to determine the prescription, then have access to rapid assembly kits that allow the user to snap the lens into a frame of choice. USee refers to this process as “dial, snap, wear.” And best of all, each set of corrective eyeglasses only costs around five dollars.
Kevin and the Global Vision 2020 team believe clear sight is the gateway to safety, education, prosperity, and self-sufficiency, especially for those suffering from poor vision who live in poverty. To date, they have delivered 18,000 pairs of glasses to faces around the world (20 countries, to be exact). The innovative approach Kevin pioneered has been a groundbreaking new solution to this pervasive health problem; further, it has become an award-winning venture. Global Vision 2020 was recently recognized as the National Geographic Chasing Genius Global Health award, and was one of two Grand Prize Winners for the 2018 WeWork Global Creators Award.
Moving toward their 10th anniversary, Global Vision 2020 has a bold 2019 campaign to prescribe and distribute 250,000 eyeglasses worldwide. Their work will expand to new territories, as well as continue projects on the ground in places such as Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, Myanmar, Mali, Philippines, Pakistan, Haiti, Malawi and Paraguay.
Global Vision 2020 is a frontline leader that should be on your list of most-wanted charities to support in 2019.
Frontline Leader (Founder): J. Kevin White.
Name of Company/Organization: Global Vision 2020, founded 2009.
Location: HQ is Easton, Maryland.
Post 9/11 Service Connection: U.S. Marine Corps.
Tours of Duty: OIF I and multiple Humanitarian Assistance Missions.
One sentence tagline &/or mission statement: Helping the World See Clearly.