Optometry’s Fund for Disaster Relief

2017 has been filled with natural disasters including hurricanes, tropical storms, and fires. Optometry’s Fund for Disaster Relief (OFDR) will be there when you begin rebuilding.

Donate now to help make certain that funds are available for doctors and optometry students affected by the recent natural disasters.

Application for Support: Doctors

The deadline to request support for damage caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma has passed. The deadline to submit your relief application for damage caused by Hurricane Maria is December 20, 2017. 

To request support, please complete the application online or in paper form.

Online OFDR Application – you will need to submit a signed Form W-9 with this application

Paper OFDR Application and Form W-9

Given the unprecedented number of applications received (nearly 200) since August 2017, decision-making and award processing may take several weeks. We appreciate your patience and quick response to any follow-up questions we or the committee has about your application.

*Please note, that our fund is set up to cover property damage to an optometrist’s home or practice. Though we do not discount the significant impact of lost income, we do not currently have the capacity to cover such a loss.

Application for Support: Students

Optometry Students are now eligible to receive financial assistance up to $250 from Optometry’s Fund for Disaster Relief.  Please note, that our fund is set up to cover property damage to an optometry student’s home or possessions.

The deadline to submit your relief application for damage caused by Hurricane Maria is December 20, 2017. 

The Student OFDR Application is available online only.

Click HERE if you are student impacted by a recent natural disaster.   you will need to upload a signed Form W-9 with this application

August 2016: Helping in Louisiana

With Optometry Cares support, AOA Members rally around colleagues affected by Louisiana floods.

flood 1  flood 2
“That was the first financial support that arrived,” Dr. Christopher Wroten says of the Optometry’s Fund for Disaster Relief grant. “It was really a quick and easy application, and those funds helped us get by for the first couple of weeks. To receive that early support was definitely a psychological boost as well.”

Read more about the aid being provided by clicking HERE

When Disaster Strikes

Natural disasters keep optometrists from doing what they do best: helping patients. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the American Optometric Association created Optometry’s Fund for Disaster Relief to provide immediate financial relief to optometrists in need.

Optometry’s Fund for Disaster Relief has provided aid for more than 300 optometrists across the country.
“Every dollar of aid in those first few months after the storm helped us to get back on our feet. The sincere concern and selfless giving of Optometry Cares and its generous donors will always be appreciated and will never be forgotten.”

Drs. James and Kimberly Benigno
Pass Christian, Miss.

The damage to structures and equipment is only part of the challenge facing affected practices. Many optometrists see their patients disperse to other areas of the country, further hampering practice recovery efforts. For some optometrists, it may be months before their home community stabilizes to allow recovery to begin. Without a practice or patients, these optometrists have no means for generating income and require help with basic needs.

Optometry’s Fund for Disaster Relief has changed the lives of many optometrists by providing immediate financial relief for critical and urgent needs, such as food, clothing, and shelter.

Disasters are unpredictable and can be life-altering; it is our goal to ensure that the fund is always poised and ready to help, so doctors can get back to doing what they do best.


Applying for a disaster relief grant is the first step to recovery. If you have recently experienced the effects of a catastrophic event, please read the grant criteria and complete the OFDR Application and Form W-9 in its entirety. Applications must be submitted directly to the affiliate state association.


“When I locked the door to my office two days before the storm was to hit, I never imagined that my insurance company would soon be saying the words, “you are 100% not covered.” Somewhere buried in the hundreds of pages of clauses was the perfect scenario that prevented my coverage from the storm…. The $2,000 was such a welcome sight in the mail and has done much for my confidence in knowing that my business and staff will remain intact. Please pass on my sincere thanks and appreciation for what this group has done for me and so many of my colleagues.”

–Chad Moffitt, O.D.
Alvin, Texas

Help optometrists like Dr. Moffitt. Donate now to help make certain that funds are available when the next disaster strikes.


Your investment will ensure that The AOA Foundation continues to provide immediate relief to those in need in the wake of natural disasters, vision care to needy Americans, scholarships for optometry students, preservation of optometry’s history and public education about the need for a lifetime of vision care.

©2018 Optometry Cares – The AOA Foundation | Contact Us Twitter icon Facebook icon