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An Advocate for Children’s Vision

“My dream is that one day every parent will think of their kids’ eye health as a regular part of their overall health and that taking kids to the eye doctor becomes as routine as taking them to the pediatrician or dentist for regular checkups.” That’s how Becky Palm, president and executive director of Essilor Vision Foundation, describes her goals for the organization. “When that day comes, we can truly celebrate. Until then, Essilor Vision Foundation will continue to strengthen its partnerships with schools, eye doctors, non-profits and communities to help provide vision services to children in need.”

Palm became the head of Essilor Vision Foundation after spending nearly seven years as part of Essilor of America’s legal team. She is enthusiastic about the opportunity to focus on philanthropy full time. “I have a deep connection to philanthropy, particularly children’s causes, and have been heavily involved with charitable organizations for nearly half my life,” she says. Palm credits
her parents with teaching her the importance of giving back. “My parents are very charitable and always encouraged me as a
child to think of those who are less fortunate and be truly grateful for what I have.”

Changing lives one pair of glasses at a time

Palm joins Essilor Vision Foundation at an exciting time. The organization recently announced that it has provided more than 1 million pairs of glasses to people in need around the U.S. since it was launched in 2007. “Essilor Vision Foundation strives to give people a brighter future by helping them see the world clearly. We are thrilled to have provided more than 1 million pairs of glasses, but there is still work to do,” she says. “It is estimated that 10 million kids in the U.S. live with blurred vision every day, and one-in-four children in this country has a vision problem that is significant enough to affect his or her ability to learn.”

One way Essilor Vision Foundation is continuing to raise awareness about the importance of children’s visual health is through its “One Million Magic Moments” campaign. Every time a child receives a pair of eyeglasses, magic happens. That child can now see the world clearly, experiencing life-changing moments. Glasses provide magic moments throughout a child’s life, from seeing the board in
school to catching a ball to seeing a loved one’s smile—moments many people take for granted every day. This campaign celebrates
the magic moments experienced by children across the U.S. who can proudly say “I am one in a million.”

A mother and an advocate

One reason Palm is so passionate about children’s eye health is that she is a mother herself. “Essilor Vision Foundation refers to vision impairment as an invisible problem because, unlike hunger or tooth decay, children often do not even know they cannot see clearly. To them, blurry eyesight is normal. And many parents do not know when their children have vision problems,” she says. “As many as 44 percent of parents are not aware that behavioral problems can be an indication that a child’s vision is impaired. The good
news is 80 percent of all vision impairment can be treated or cured, often with a pair of eyeglasses, and this is a message I want
to share with every parent.”

Becky Palm’s daughter Milly

Palm continues, “Clear vision is especially crucial for children because 80 percent of what a child learns is visual. Vision impacts every aspect of a child’s life, from learning, confidence and social interaction to participation in activities such as sports, art and music. That is why we will continue to encourage parents, teachers, schools, nurses, eye doctors and communities to work together to give children the clear vision they need.”

Palm is grateful that her personal and professional goals are in alignment. “Serving others as a young person defined who I am
and sparked my interest in advocating for children. Essilor Vision Foundation empowers children to reach their full potential by giving
them the ability to see clearly, and it is wonderful to work alongside a cause that clearly supports my personal aspiration to improve
the lives of others.”

Essilor Vision Foundation recently held an event in Ft. Worth, Texas.
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