Skip to content

CCCF Assists Lions Vision Services in Expanding its Eye Surgery Program through Connected Communities Grant

Lions Vision Services formed Envision the Midlands to expand its Affordable Eye Surgery Program through Central Carolina Community Foundation’s Connected Communities grant. The funds will provide eye surgeries throughout the 11 counties in the Midlands that have been previously unserved by Lions Vision Services Eye Surgery Program due to limited finances.

“This grant means that fewer Midlands residents are needlessly suffering in silence and darkness as their sight slowly fades away,” said Daniel Prohaska, President & CEO of Lions Vision Services. “Instead, they are empowered to face tomorrow and to be better equipped for living safe, meaningful, and productive lives.”

The surgeries permanently save and restore sight for clients, which on average increases their quality of life by 58% and increases their awareness of the importance of vision health by 81%.

During the grant period, two community outreach health fairs will be led by Lions Vision in Clarendon and Fairfield Counties to intentionally expand access to eyecare in rural areas with a high prevalence of blindness and vision loss.

Through a network of partners who assist the nonprofit, Lions Vision Services can turn every $1 raised into an additional $4 in services, bringing the total impact of the Foundation’s Connected Communities grant to $200,000.

Without a program that effectively intervenes, the number of blind and visually impaired people will double by 2030. Through its Envision the Midlands program, Lions Vision Services will mobilize a coalition of healthcare partners and philanthropists to create sustainable solutions for sight.These partners have already stepped in to make Lions Vision Services even more accessible. Many physicians and eyecare providers have contributed to this project by donating a portion of the cost of their services, allowing the nonprofit to lower program costs and serve a larger number of clients than would have been possible otherwise.

The program expansion is taking off quicker than the organization expected, as they have provided nine eye surgeries within five new zip codes so far. Prohaska said this emphasizes the need for vision and eyecare services.

The organization is a statewide membership-based nonprofit made up of Lions who are members in good standing of Lions Clubs in good standing in Multiple District-32 (encompasses the state of South Carolina.)

Lions Vison Services empowers the under-served blind and visually impaired population in South Carolina to help them live safe, meaningful and fulfilling lives. They are committed to preventing blindness by conducting vision screenings, facilitating eye surgeries, and providing hearing aids to vulnerable demographics across the state.

“The first way we connect, process, and interact with our community is through our sight. When we lose our sight, we lose a vital part of our community connection,” said Prohaska.

Through Central Carolina Communities Foundation’s Connected Communities grant, this year, Lions Vision Services and 11 other nonprofits can make an even bigger impact on the Midlands’ community.

Central Carolina Community Foundation is working to make the Midlands more connected, compassionate and engaged through the Connected Communities grants. This grant funds innovative ideas from nonprofits that will further knit the community together and improve the community’s quality of life. The Foundation aims to inspire organizations to engage and invest in our community and build on the community’s existing assets.

To learn more about the Connected Communities grants visit here.