The Eye Patch Project
Thursday, August 28 2014
Throughout the month of August our crew here at Patch Pals has worked hard to bring awareness to an eye disorder named Amblyopia. We have mailed out information cards, given awareness bracelets to customers, and we've posted numerous photos of children wearing eye patches. We have asked our Facebook followers and customers to join in on our effort to educate the world about amblyopia. We have encouraged them all to use the hashtag #patchpower along with a photo or message about eye patching.
Since July 29th, there has been another movement occurring during the month of August bringing awareness to ALS. ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), often referred to as "Lou Gehrig's Disease," is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. This movement has been a huge success bringing in over 94 million dollars to the ALS Association in just one month. Last year during the same time period they had raised 2.7 million. Many celebrities, athletes, and politicians have videotaped their challenges as well as their reactions to having a bucket of ice cold water dumped on their heads. It has been entertaining to see my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds filled with these videos as well as videos of my friends and family. The whole campaign has been very successful and we are thrilled for ALS and hope that all the donations will help find a cure for this dreadful disease.
What became clear during August 2014 is the potential of social media and how it can be a powerful tool used to educate and rally the world around a particular cause. So many negative issues have been reported lately about social media. Many worry about the abundance of narcissistic selfies out there or how social media can be used as a forum for bullies. The workplace is also losing productivity because employees are spending time at work checking their Facebook pages. This is not good. But after the past month I am excited and hopeful. Good things can happen with social media and I hope everyone jumps on the ice bucket train.
Please continue to post photos and messages about your eye patcher. Flood your newsfeeds with them. Continue to educate the public about Amblyopia. Your efforts may stop an awkward stare or discourage bullying of a young eye patcher at school. We live in a time when one tweet by Ellen DeGeneres can be viewed by millions of people. It's powerful. Let try to use social media for good.
Amblyopia is a common eye disorder affecting one out of every 40 children. The vision in the eyes is unbalanced. One is focused and the other is not. A child with amblyopia needs to wear an eye patch on the "good eye" so that the "lazy eye" can be exercised and strengthened.
Friday, August 15 2014
Have you ever seen a young child at the store or on the playground wearing an eye patch and wondered "What's up with the eye patch?" Did he injury his eye? Does he have an eye infection? Or maybe he is just pretending to be a pirate. When we see a little one with a cast on an arm we are pretty sure it's because of a broken bone. We ask "Oh, dear how did you break your arm?", we listen to their story and then offer encouragement to the child. But for the young eye patcher a chance encounter with a stranger may play out differently.