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Marchon employee Patty Weber loves helping others see

Marchon volunteer Patty Weber holds a Labrador retriever

Marchon volunteer Patty Weber holds a Labrador retriever puppy that will be trained as a Seeing Eye dog. Credit: Marchon

Patty Weber now knows from experience the good that Marchon does.

This year, for the first time, the senior sales strategy specialist, who has been with Marchon 20 years and handles donations of the company's frames to the VSP Mobile Eyes clinic and charitable organizations, volunteered with the Mobile Eyes clinic. Weber's friend and co-worker had shared with her how good she felt after volunteering last year at a VSP event in Bithlo, Florida, a small community northeast of Tampa. Last July, Weber, 55, of Farmingdale, checked it out for herself. She volunteered for Marchon's event with charitable partner United Global Outreach. Nearly 90 adults and children received eye care and new glasses in a three-day event.

"I never knew so many people couldn't afford eye care," Weber said. "We saw 80 to 100 people a day. A man there had lost his vision from cataracts. One of our doctors told him he needed surgery . . . he got his eyesight back."

Weber volunteered again, this time closer to home at an Aug. 5 event at the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind in Smithtown. More than 160 adults and children received free eye care and new glasses. Part of Weber's task was to raise awareness.

Weber said that she and other Marchon employees "went around to local charities, schools and churches to let people know what we were doing and to invite them to the event." she said, adding that the outreach worked. "On the second day, we gave a lot more people eye exams."

Weber is already planning to volunteer for the Guide Dog event next year and is thinking about how to expand it.

"People have to take advantage of a good thing," she said. "In my job I often pick out the frames that we will donate. It's nice when I can volunteer, look at someone in their face, see what fits and looks good. The satisfaction is huge. People come to an event not being able to see, and leave seeing."




The best way to volunteer is through VSP Global's eyewear donation program.

Through Eye Make A Difference, you can donate your glasses to help someone else see. Simply order a free eyewear donation box, collect gently used eyewear in your office or organization and send the box back to VSP, which will pay for shipping. The glasses donated are cleaned, refurbished and labeled for VSP Vision Care doctors to use on global eye care missions. To get started, click on "Eyewear" Donation at



Several other local organizations and nonprofits are on a mission to improve and save people's eyesight:

Long Island VisionWalk, Foundation Fighting Blindness

Contact: Ro-Ann Rabanillo, events manager, 212-244-1470;


Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind Inc. in Smithtown

Contact: 631-930-9000;


Lions Eye Bank for Long Island, North Shore-LIJ Health System in Valley Stream

Contact: 516-256-6990


Heritage for the Blind of Melville

Contact: 631-517-4916;


For more information and opportunities, contact the Long Island Volunteer Center at 516-564-5482;

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