Support Our Mission
The Lions World Vision Institute Foundation serves as the stewards of a very precious gift – the gift of sight. As the charitable arm of the Lions World Vision Institute, we are grounded in the belief that everyone deserves the gift of sight. We restore sight in our community and around the globe through various programs.
The work at Lions World Vision Institute is made possible through the generosity of our supporters. When you make a gift to the Lions World Vision Institute Foundation, you support cutting edge ocular research, sight restoration, surgeon trainings, vision screenings, and so much more.
Here are some of the programs your financial gift supports:
Vision Health Programs
Vision disorders in children affect cognitive, social, and physical development; future health; and well-being. Conditions such as amblyopia (lazy eye) or strabismus (crossed eye) can go undetected and, if not addressed by the time a child is 8 years old when eyesight is fully developed, can lead to lifelong problems and result in an irreversible loss of sight. To solve this problem, we have launched a Vision Health Program to provide vision screenings for children in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties so they can get access to the care they need and deserve. Learn more.
Gratis Ocular Tissue Program
This program allows us to provide free or reduced fee corneal tissue to people who suffer from corneal blindness but cannot afford sight-saving surgery because they are under-/un-insured. In the 2019-2020 year, our Gratis Ocular Tissue Program restored sight to 198 people just like Anne, in Florida, the United States, Albania, Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Mexico, Pakistan, Paraguay, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Syria, Uzbekistan, and Venezuela. This program reaches across the globe to cure corneal blindness. Make a Gift
Ocular Research Center
The Lions World Vision Institute Research Center advances research to provide treatments and an eventual cure for age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy, among other blinding eye diseases. Our Ocular Research Center was built in 2009 and since then, our Director of Scientific Research and research coordinators have worked tirelessly to empower researchers to conduct real-time studies of healthy and diseased ocular tissue. We collaborate with leading institutions to develop new pre-clinical research models, offering unparalleled quality and unique research facilities and research tissues for pharmaceutical or medical-device studies. Learn more.
Surgeon Training Program
A vital part of our mission involves training ophthalmologists on the newest, safest techniques of cornea transplantation in-person at Lions World Vision Institute Headquarters and virtually around the world. Through the generosity of our supporters, we now have the equipment and instrumentation for our team to bring in surgeons from all over the world and elevate our organization as leaders in ophthalmic education, specifically advanced cornea transplantation. In recent years, we have performed surgeon trainings in over 70 countries for over 850 surgeons. Learn more.
The F. Lozano Cigar Factory – Lions World Vision Institute Headquarters
Another priority is maintaining our 113-year-old building, previously known as the F. Lozano Cigar Factory, the building in which we fulfill the mission of the organization. This building not only houses our transplant lab in which we process and distribute all the corneal tissue that is recovered, but it is also incredibly important as part of our identity as a member of the Ybor City and Tampa Bay Community. As such, it is our responsibility and privilege to maintain this beautiful, historical structure. Some projects that we have recently completed include replacing the roof and building up the retaining wall to prevent erosion and flood damage.
It costs so little to provide priceless sight and a better quality of life for so many in your community and around the world.
Your contributions underwrite transplants for those in financial need; fund research programs, giving us a better understanding of the human eye and eye disease; and get us one step closer to unlocking the cure for blindness. Your contributions help educate the public about the importance of ocular donation, and enrich the lives of those who are visually impaired.