Book Drive Provides Free Books and Eye Exams to U.S. Children

VSP Vision Care—the largest not-for-profit vision benefits and services company in the U.S.—partnered with Transitions Optical and Bess the Book Bus to launch the national "Eyecare About Reading" book drive competition, now through Aug. 22. Bloggers Meghan Cooper from JaMonkey, Mocha Dad Frederick Goodall, and Kara-Kae, founder of The Mom Diggity, will compete to collect the most books in their communities to receive 100 free eye exams to donate to the charity of their choice.


boy wearing glasses while reading a bookTo read well, a child first needs to see well, as 80 percent of what we learn is through our eyes. However, an astonishing 1 in 4 children has an undetected vision problem—many of which are due to lack of vision care. To shed light on the critical role healthy vision plays in helping to develop a child’s passion for reading and learning, VSP Vision Care, Transitions Optical, and Bess the Book Bus have launched the national “Eyecare About Reading” book drive competition. The book drive will provide free books, eye exams and glasses (when needed), totaling more than $2 million, to children in need. 

Three well-known bloggers: Meghan Cooper from JaMonkey (Atlanta, GA), Mocha Dad Frederick Goodall (Houston, TX) and Kara-Kae, founder of The Mom Diggity (Oklahoma City, OK), will compete to collect the most books in their communities through Aug. 22. The books will be donated to local charities as well as to Bess the Book Bus, a mobile literacy outreach program that travels across the country providing free books to underprivileged children in schools, shelters, and community organizations.

“Reading opens worlds of opportunities for children throughout their academic and personal lives,” says Jennifer Frances, founder of Bess the Book Bus. “I am thrilled to be a part of this campaign, which will help to spread the love of reading to kids, many of whom have never had a book of their own or access to proper eye care, potentially hindering their reading skills.”


How the Book Drive works:

For every three books donated in the competition (either through the bloggers or online), VSP will donate one free eye exam (and, if needed, glasses fitted with Transitions lenses) to charities in the bloggers’ communities for children without access to these services. VSP will provide up to 5,500 free eye exams in total for the campaign, a value of more than $2 million.

The blogger who collects the most books will receive an additional 100 free eye exams (and glasses with Transitions lenses) for their charity, as well as a special visit from Bess the Book Bus and the VSP/Transitions Optical Mobile Eyes clinic nicknamed Eyenstein.

“Increasing access to quality eyecare is a priority for VSP,” says Connie Vavricek, director of industry outreach at VSP Vision Care. “To partner with organizations such as Transitions Optical and Bess the Book Bus, who share our passion to give back, increases the collective reach to make a positive impact on the life of a child.”


How to participate:

If you live in Atlanta, Houston or Oklahoma City, visit JaMonkey, Mocha Dad and The Mom Diggity for book drop off locations.

If you live outside of these areas, visit, select the Book Drive tab and make a “promise” to protect your eyes. For every promise received, Transitions Optical will donate one free book to Bess the Book Bus. 

“Transitions Optical has a long-standing history of supporting literacy initiatives through our four-year partnership with Bess the Book Bus and our My Eye Promise program, encouraging everyone to promise to care for their eyes, and in turn also help children in need through our automatic book donations to Bess the Book Bus,” says Dan McLean, marketing manager, communications, Transitions Optical.  “The 'Eyecare About Reading' book drive competition is another great way to get parents, children, and teachers thinking about the important connection between healthy vision and reading and learning before the start of the new school year.”

Renowned children’s authors John Perry, Margaret Mason, Deborah Diesen, Rebecca Emberley, and Cynthia Lord are also showing their support for the campaign by providing free signed copies of their award-winning books as well as exclusive video content.

To donate a book, visit the Book Drive tab on VSPVision Care's Facebook page.