VOSH/Minnesota is a chapter of VOSH/International. Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity was organized in 1972 by a Kansas Optometrist, Dr. Franklin Harms. VOSH is the leading provider of professional volunteer vision care to the developing countries of the world, serving over 100,000 people per year and has helped establish permanent eye clinics in Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Haiti and Mexico. VOSH has also set up clinics in disaster areas such as in Bosnia following a war, in El Salvador following an earthquake, and in Honduras and the Dominican Republic following hurricanes. VOSH/Minnesota was one of the first to open the doors into Cuba for other chapters to follow.
Since 1976 VOSH/Minnesota has organized one or more eye care mission trips per year to various countries around the world, from India to Africa to Central and South America. All year round we sort, catalog and pack donated eyeglasses which we carry with us to distribute in underserved areas of the world. We may be assisted by government agencies, service, or religious organizations in our host countries, but we have no political or religious affiliations.
Donated eyeglasses used on our missions come from individuals, service clubs, churches, airlines and optometry/ophthalmology offices. Local optical laboratories have also contributed new eyeglasses and manufactured complicated prescriptions that cannot be filled from our stock. We have a group of people who meet regularly to measure prescriptions in the glasses. All of these people and entities help us carry out our mission.
The VOSH/International web site www.vosh.org provides additional information about the work of VOSH globally, partnerships with other vision care organizations, and links to other VOSH chapters and their upcoming missions.
You can get a glimpse of our work by checking out the photos and reports on the “Previous missions” tab. See the “FAQ” tab for answers to frequently asked questions and the “How You Can Help” tab for information about various ways to support our work. Thank you!