DENVER, Colo. -- Linebacker Von Miller has worn glasses since the second grade. His mother bought him his first pair and he used to sleep in them every night, often bending them accidentally as he slept.
Heading into his fourth year in the NFL, he can still often be found wearing his glasses. In fact, he has about 80 pairs now, half of which are prescription.
But glasses have come to mean more to him than just a means of helping him see clearly. Glasses are now part of his contribution to the community. He founded Von's Vision in 2013, which provides low-income Denver children with eye care and corrective eyewear.
On Thursday evening, Miller hosted approximately 80 guests at Texas de Brazil for the foundation's second annual "An Evening with Von Miller." The proceeds of the evening will benefit the foundation.
Guests at the event enjoyed cocktails, hors d'oerves and a silent auction featuring signed Broncos jerseys and helmets. Miller took pictures, signed autographs and talked with fans throughout the evening.
In addition to providing children with proper eye care, Miller is hoping to make glasses "cool" for children.
"I can identify with it," Miller said. "I've been wearing glasses all my life. I can identify with those kids that need glasses and all they need is a source to provide those glasses. I can identify with wearing glasses and not thinking it's cool and trying to hide your glasses and do all these crazy things so I'm here to make glasses cool for the kids, to provide glasses to kids in need and just put glasses on kids."
The goal of the foundation is to provide more than 50,000 children with eye exams and corrective eyewear by the end of 2016. Miller and the foundation made progress on that goal on Von's Vision Day in March when 160 children received eye screenings. Of those children, 104 needed glasses.
He said that event was eye-opening and helped him realize that there are kids in Denver who need glasses, but don't even realize it. Though the foundation is called Von's Vision, he was amazed to see that vision become a reality.
"It was a true blessing and I'm extremely grateful to have the board members that I have, the people behind Von's Vision and actually make it work, all the volunteers," Miller said.
Miller wants to do his part to help the community, but he wanted to make his foundation distinctive to him.
"I was just thinking one day on how I could give back to the community," Miller said. "I didn't want to be like another football camp or writing a check to some cause, all causes are great, but I wanted something that I could identify with and that I could have hands on it. I just wanted it to be me and authentic. Von's Vision was something that was authentic to me and I can identify with glasses."