The NFL season kicked off this past weekend, which is good news for fans of football. In the first game of the year, the Denver Broncos squeaked by the Carolina Panthers (21 – 20) in a rematch of last year’s Super Bowl.
A big part of Denver’s victory came through the efforts of star linebacker, Von Miller. If you’re not familiar with him, he’s only 27 years old and he’s earned a lifetime’s worth of athletic honors.
To start, he was a two time All-American in college at Texas A&M, then drafted 2nd overall by the Broncos in 2011. After an impressive rookie season, he was named the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year.
In subsequent years, he’s become one of the league’s premier players. And it all payed off in last year’s Super Bowl, where he earned MVP honors.
This past off-season, Miller’s celebrity status shot through the roof. He gained several endorsement deals, signed a record breaking contract, competed on Dancing With The Stars, and more.
As much as his likeness has been featured all over television and photos, he’s rarely seen without sporting his signature, thick framed eyeglasses.
In the midst of “Living The Dream,” he’s also stayed true to his foundation called Von’s Vision. According to the foundation’s website, “The mission of Von’s Vision is to provide low-income Denver children with the eye care and corrective eyewear they need to be their best in the classroom and in life.”
In a recent Interview, Von stated, “When I got to the National Football League, I wanted to create a foundation that I had my fingerprint on. I didn’t want to start something and not really be attached. Von’s Vision is 100 percent me.”
His willingness to help the vision impaired youth of Denver stems from his own problems as a child. “In second or third grade, I had to wear my glasses while I played football. I can relate to kids who want to see better in the classroom or on the sports field.”
By the Numbers:
So far this year, Von’s Vision has exceeded all expectations. In February, Von received a $10,000 donation from Ellen Degeneres (via Shutterfly). In April, he brought nearly 300 children to Sports Authority Field in Denver for Von’s Vision Day.
In June, he raised over $70,000 for the foundation through his Second Annual Celebrity Go-Kart Grand Prix. And just last month, he provided free vision screenings, eye exams, and corrective eye wear to 150 Denver area students as a part of Von Miller’s Back to School Vision Day.
Live in Your OcularPrime:
From a doctor’s standpoint, it’s extremely important for children to receive comprehensive eye exams, especially before going back to school. Numerous studies confirm that young students with uncorrected vision learn slower, have less confidence, and tend to fall behind in classwork.
Because much of how we learn is visual in nature, it becomes more difficult for a child to concentrate and retain information when his/her vision is out of focus.
As an exceptional athlete, and a person who spends much time in the spotlight, Von Miller’s ability to help cannot be underestimated. Von’s Vision is a unique concept and groundbreaking in the field of vision correction. If that’s not enough, he’s clearly having fun with it, which is what sets him apart.
It’s my hope that other athletes will be as inspired as Von Miller is to affect positive change in the community. However, since every personality brings something different to the table, other influencers should be just as creative as Von in crafting an idea to pursue with a high level of interest.