The Visual Research Foundation of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and Rebekahs, established in 1957, support and provide funds to advance eye research through professorships in ophthalmology at the world famous Wilmer Eye Institute at the John Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland.
Additionally, the World Eye Banks located in different State jurisdictions allow members of the fraternity to donate their eyes after death for corneal transplants and research. In 1961, the Foundation’s professorship in eye research was established through an endowment of $625,000.00. With the challenge of more needed research and rising costs, an additional $1,000,000.00 was added to the fund in 1987. As of 2012, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows has an endowment of $2.5 Million for this program and is planning to raise additional $500,000.00 to the fund. Supporting this worthy worldwide program has made it possible for many handicapped persons to be aided, whether it is through corneal transplant, or breakthrough to prevent blindness.
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