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On the Dutch island country of St. Maarten, the sun takes heavy toll on residents’ eyes — and eyecare is hard to come by.

Ellen Haag, vice president—brand sales and dispensing services for Essilor of America, realized the need while on a sailing trip with members of the company’s ECP service consultant team, who had won a President’s Club award. She had the opportunity to talk with Garth Steyn, who runs a foundation called Kidz at Sea that help get youth involved in the marine industry.

The kids needed sunglasses, and Haag wanted to get the Essilor Vision Foundation involved. As it turned out, the resulting project was much broader, helping residents throughout St. Maarten with donated eye exams, frames and lenses.

“The goal was to bring our mission of ‘improving lives by improving sight’ to life,” she said. That should be the foundation of everything we do.”

Watch a video about the project:

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Having built a career in service journalism, Dee has been covering the eyecare industry for over a decade. As editor-in-chief of INVISION Magazine, she is passionate about telling independent ECPs stories and can be reached directly at [email protected]

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