After traveling to India, Mexico and Guyana to host eye care clinics and help people in need, Dana and I realized it's time to share this incredible, life changing experience with our fans!! We are very excited to announce that time has officially come!
We have teamed up with two awesome brands, Live A Great Story and The Greatness Foundation to host the Live + Give(Away) Adventure. By entering, you have the chance to win the following:
The Live + Give (Away) Adventure will take place September 7-11.
You can Enter Here and complete the three step process.
See the rules, terms and conditions below for additional information.
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN; A PURCHASE DOES NOT INCREASE ODDS OF WINNING.
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The Sweepstakes is sponsored by SOLO Eyewear located at 4490 Fanuel St. Suite 203 San Diego, CA 92109. The Sweepstakes is subject to all applicable laws and regulations and is void where prohibited by law, or where bonding, registration, or other requirements have not been met. Decisions of Sponsor are final and binding with respect to all matters relating to the Sweepstakes.
Approximate Retail Value ("ARV"): Two Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($2500) USD. The ARV represents Sponsor's good-faith determination of the approximate retail value of the prize in U.S. dollars, and may differ from the actual fair market value. The actual fair market value is determined by Sponsor, is final and binding, and may not be challenged or appealed. If the ARV of a prize exceeds the actual fair market value of the prize, the difference will not be awarded to winner in cash or otherwise.
Winner and any guest of winner must travel on the same itinerary, on the dates designated by Sponsor, and must possess valid identification and all necessary documents for travel. Winner will not be awarded additional compensation if winner travels without an eligible guest. Guests must be aged 18 or over; eligibility is determined in Sponsor's sole discretion.
Air transportation and hotel accommodations must be taken together. Sponsor will not replace any lost or stolen tickets, travel vouchers, or certificates once delivered to winner (or winner's guest). Prize-related travel may be subject to capacity controls, availability, blackout dates, and other restrictions, which may include a Saturday night stay, all of which are subject to change.
Prize details not specifically described are at Sponsor's sole discretion. The Prize excludes, and winner is solely responsible for, any costs or fees incurred by winner or winner's guest during Prize-related travel that are not specified in the Official Rules as part of the Prize, including but not limited to: airport transportation, taxis, ride share services, meals, beverages, excursions, processing fees, tips, taxes, and insurance.
Gift cards, certificates, credits, or coupons (the "Gift Card") values are less any applicable activation, transaction, or maintenance fees and subject to the terms, conditions, and restrictions disclosed on the Gift Card, including any stated expiration dates. Sponsor is not responsible for, and will not replace, any lost, stolen, destroyed, or expired Gift Cards, or Gift Cards used without winner's permission. VISA ® entities have not sponsored this Sweepstakes in any way.
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Last summer, we received an email from two female filmmakers who had an idea that they wanted to present to me and Dana. We love hearing from fellow lady bosses so we obliged and scheduled a call. Gale and Jessie, the filmmakers, wanted to create a short documentary highlighting the work of female founded companies in the outdoor industry. We loved the concept and in no time, we were signed on to be one of the four companies to be showcased in the REI sponsored documentary. Woo hoo!
Gale and Jessie worked tirelessly for months developing their storyline, coordinating logistics and recruiting help to execute the many moving parts of this project. In the meantime, we were working closely with our non profit partner, RestoringVision, and another non-profit, Flying Samaritans, to coordinate our participation in an eye care clinic in San Quintin, Mexico. We were fortunate that the stars aligned for the filming and clinic to take place at the same time.
On February 10th, Gale and Jessie drove down to San Diego with their team to start filming. We started the day at the office where Gale and Jessie interviewed us for a few hours. Before we knew it, the sun was setting and we still needed to pack up to head 5 hours south to San Quintin, Mexico to help set up for the eye care clinic in the morning.
By the late evening, six of us were in the van with all of our gear and headed to Mexico. We were fortunate to have a fellow SOLOist and all around awesome person and photographer, Ravean Aaron, tag along to take photos at the clinic and caravan down with us. If you haven't driven through Baja California in Mexico, I highly recommend it. It's beautiful with rolling hills and lush scenery.
We arrived in San Quintin late Friday night and at 7am we were having breakfast with the Flying Samaritans team, Margie, Rick and Joe, and RestoringVision staff member, Grecia. We headed to the clinic to set up and start seeing patients. As soon as we arrived, we saw dozens of people waiting to be seen. We got to work. Dana and I assisted with administering preliminary vision tests and dispensing eyeglasses according to each person's prescription. Meanwhile the film crew was capturing incredible moments inside the clinic and outside in the waiting area. It was a great experience and a wonderful day!
We concluded the evening with a group dinner with the Flying Samaritans and RestoringVision volunteers. It was an awesome opportunity to get to know one another. At 5am the next morning, we were already back on the road headed to San Diego.
We arrived in San Diego after lunch time. The film crew wanted to capture a few outdoor scenes of me and Dana. We opted to go paddle boarding. We were directed to paddle for 30 minutes or so and to not get wet because we had to take portraits afterwards. Here's the portrait shot....
Things didn't go quite as planned! :) While paddling around the bay, I remember thinking "who falls off a paddle board in calm waters" and shortly after that thought, I realized I was about to run into Dana's paddle board. I put my paddle out to brace the impact and instead pushed her paddle board forward. She never saw it coming. As soon as I saw her arms in the air and her feet stepping left and right, I knew she was going in. I stood there cringing as the film crew captured the whole moment. Dana was a trooper. She got out of the cold water and sat on her paddle board with purple lips. I felt so badly about the incident that the only thing I could think to do is cannonball into the water. I did. When you watch the documentary, you won't see Dana gracefully falling overboard but you will see the cannonball shot. Now, you know the real story behind it. ;)
We ended the day on the beach during sunset and it was a perfect conclusion to the weekend. The film crew loaded up their van and hit the road to capture their next story.
Being a part of the Venturous Voices documentary was not only an incredible experience, it was an honor. Spending three days with five intelligent, talented women with different backgrounds and perspectives was inspiring. I felt so blessed to be a part of this group.
It took Gale and Jessie two months to edit and complete the documentary. Here it is. Our section is minutes 8:06 to 12:44.
We would like to thank REI for sponsoring the film as well as Jessie, Gale and their team for giving us a platform and opportunity to share our story and experiences. Here's a link to the REI Blog Post.
Dana and I were finally on our flights to Guyana to execute two eye care clinics. Just three days prior we received approval from the Guyanese Ministry of Public Health to do so. We didn't skip a beat. I had connected with Dr. Shannon Da Silva, an optometrist in Georgetown, Guyana who immediately volunteered herself and her team to help at the clinics. Fortunately, we had the right partnership and plan in place to execute the clinics so bringing them to fruition within a few days was possible.
At 11pm on Friday, March 24th we arrived in Guyana and at 5:30am the next morning we were meeting Dr. Shannon Da Silva and her team, Keion, Dave and Shabana, for the first time. The opportunity to host the eye care clinics came about through my involvement with the Young Leaders of Americas Initiative, a program sponsored by the US Department of State. In October 2016, I hosted Dason Anthony, a young Guyanese entrepreneur and YLAI fellow, for a month during which he worked alongside me and we learned about each other's businesses. Once the exchange concluded, we were given the opportunity to do a reverse exchange where I could travel to Guyana and execute a project with Dason. Together, we decided our project would be hosting an eye care clinic. Because the project was largely funded by the YLAI program, SOLO was able to supply 300 pairs of reading glasses and 50 pairs of sunglasses and subsidize a second eye care clinic during the trip.
At 6:30am on March 25th, we were chartering a small flight to Mabaruma, a remote region in Guyana, to host our first eye care clinic. Upon arriving at 7:30am, we found over 200 people waiting. Some individuals traveled all night to come to the clinic. We quickly got to work. Dana, Dason and I administered preliminary vision tests to determine which patients were near and/or far sighted. By evening time, our team had seen nearly all of the patients. We were able to distribute eyeglasses and sunglasses to people in need. We met so many individuals and learned about their hardships that resulted from their poor vision. Many wanted to be able to sew or read again. Others simply wanted to make sure their children's eyes were healthy. It was a privilege to connect with and help so many people in need.
On Sunday, we returned to Georgetown and began preparing for our second eye care clinic that would take place the following day on Leguan Island. The next morning we were boarding a small boat with all of our supplies to head to Leguan. The boat ride was exciting... a bit less terrifying than the 12 person plane that we flew on the day before. Upon arriving at the hospital, we walked inside to find a packed room of people waiting to have their eyes checked. The hospital was allowing us to use their facilities to host the eye care clinic. Before we arrived, they used a number system to help organize the patients. The person who received number 1 had arrived at 4am that morning to wait in line. He had already been waiting 4 hours by the time we arrived.
We immediately got to work. Everything flowed beautifully. Not only were we able to examine all of the individuals waiting but we also stayed to see the hospital staff. Many of them had never had their vision checked.
In total, over 250 individuals came through the two eye care clinics. We were able to provide over half of them with eyeglasses and 50 with sunglasses. Because we were able to restore vision for most of the people who came to the clinics, they are now better able to lead fuller, more productive lives. For that, we are most grateful.
A special thank you to Dr. Shannon Da Silva, Keion and Dave who worked tirelessly to help bring these clinics to fruition and service so many individuals in need, to Shabana Shaw who represented the Ministry of Public Health and documented our efforts. Because of her work, our eye care clinics were covered by several Guyanese news outlets. Another thank you to Dason who so generously hosted me and Dana during our stay and volunteered his time to help at the clinics as well. And last but not least, a thank you to the Young Leaders of Americas Initiative, the US Department of State and Meridian International. Without your support, none of this would be possible.
After weeks of organizing and communicating with the Flying Samaritans and Restoring Vision, our non-profit partner, our team had arranged to support an eye care clinic in San Quintin, Baja California, Mexico. On Friday, February 10th we packed up the van and headed 5 hours south to help at the monthly Flying Samaritans clinic.
(Photo Credit: Ravean Aaron)
We spent all day Saturday serving the local community. The Flying Samaritans typically host a health and dental clinic in conjunction with their eye care clinic. Due to the bad weather, the dental and health clinics were cancelled. Despite the conditions, dozens and dozens of women, men and children showed up in hopes of receiving eye care.
(Photo Credit: Gale Straub)
Dana and I, along with Flying Samaritans volunteers' Joe, Margie and Rick, and Restoring Vision volunteer Grecia examined individuals, administered vision exams and fitted those in need with prescription eyeglasses. We asked several of them how they felt to receive a pair of eyeglasses and see clearly.
One young girl who was about 13 years old said she was most excited to see the board in her classroom. She told us that she felt more confident and was excited to go to school now that she can see well.
A man in his late 60's walked into the clinic. After undergoing an eye exam, he was prescribed eyeglasses with -4.00 strength for distance. Having poor vision made it difficult for him to work. He told us that he was strong and wanted to find work. He was optimistic that he would now be able to.
One woman in her 50's told us that she had never learned to read or write. She had recently decided to enroll in adult classes so she could become literate. Upon beginning the classes, she noticed that she could not see the letters on the page to learn. She was fitted with a pair of +3.00 reading glasses and was ecstatic to see each individual letter on a page. She told us that she was most looking forward to learning how to write her name.
(Photo Credit: Ravean Aaron)
The patients' stories were incredibly moving and served as a powerful reminder of why SOLO Eyewear exists. In addition to being inspired by these individuals, we were also moved by the compassion and dedication of the Flying Samaritans team. Each month they travel to San Quintin from San Diego to help the local community by providing free health care, including vision and dental. They are doing incredible work and we felt privileged to work alongside them. Through our partnership with Restoring Vision, we were able to provide 150 pairs of eyeglasses to this specific clinic with over 2,000 more eyeglasses allocated to additional Flying Samaritans clinics.
(Photo Credit: Ravean Aaron)
Thank YOU for helping us put so many smiles on people's faces!
At SOLO, we believe in taking care of people and our planet and we know that is important to you as well. In celebration of Giving Tuesday, we're kicking off a 10 Days of Giving Campaign where participants can complete acts of kindness and receive SOLO gear.
Each participant who completes 5 of the 10 acts listed below by December 9th and follows the campaign rules is eligible to receive a FREE SOLO Eyewear Tote Bag with a mystery pair of SOLOs inside.
10 Days of Giving Campaign
1. Share a picture or video of each completed act of kindness on Instagram and include #soloeyewear #10DaysofGiving
2. Each participant who completes 5 acts of kindness and follows Rule 1 is eligible to receive a SOLO Eyewear Tote Bag and mystery pair of SOLOs.
3. If a participant is able to complete all 10 out of 10, then he/she will receive our SOLO tote bag stuffed with 2 SOLOs of your choice, 2 Guatemalan sunglass bags, 2 sunglass cords, and 2 micro-fiber sunglass bags.
Simply put, we at SOLO believe in creating a better world together and that effort begins with each of us, as individuals. So when you see us mention 'SOLOist', know that you are one and that you are an important part of our community.
So, cheers to being a SOLOist, to living limitlessly and giving abundantly!