A cast of actors is touring France for the third year in a row in an interesting initiative financed by Optic 2000, the French cooperative of independent opticians, and by Essilor. Customers of the two companies and other people from all walks of life, including the poor, are invited to attend a funny theatrical piece free of charge in 12 different towns throughout the country through July 19. They are also invited to make a donation to the Telethon, the international association that raises money for young people affected by muscular dystrophy.

The cast is led by Gérard Holtz, a very popular French actor and journalist. The theatrical piece chosen for this year is “The Forced Wedding, written by Molière in the 17th century. The initiative has collected donations worth a total of €31,000 in the past two years.

Optic 2000 is one of the biggest donors to the Telethon and France is the biggest fund-raiser for its international association. The French chain proposes to its customers to pay one euro for a second pair of glasses made in France and gives it then to the Telethon. In 2012, Optic 2000 gave a total of €1.2 million to various charities.