YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Local children from Youngstown Community School and Taft Elementary were fitted for brand new glasses on Monday.
All thanks to the non-profit organization Sight for All, which helps provide necessary eye care for those in need, and many local eye doctors.
Many times ancillary services like vision, dental and hearing are sacrificed because of deductibles and co-pays. Doctors said they knew many kids weren’t getting to the eye doctor for regular checkups and they wanted to help.
So, after teaming up with Doctors for Sight and the United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley, free eye exams were given to students earlier this year.
Dr. Sergul Erzurum is an ophthalmologist and one of Sight for All’s founders. She helped perform the exams, saying it was a humbling experience to see how grateful and excited the children were.
“You see a whole community coming together — I couldn’t tell you how many physicians were on board with this. Doctors for Sight is made up of 37 eye care professionals in our tri-county area that are all giving back to the community and helping out,” Erzurum said.
Participants said there was a big community response to this big community problem. Transportation was organized to get the children to participating local doctor’s offices.
“It’s just an incredible need in the community, because what happens is, sight gets put on the back burner because of other healthcare costs and other things that are more of a priority. But in the reality, sight is something that instantly benefits everybody,” said Dominic Mancini, communications director for Sight for All.
On Monday, 29 children received two free pairs of glasses from Classic Optical Laboratories, Inc., one for home and one for school.
“Kids are going to pick out their own frames and be able to go shopping for their frames, instead of just being given a generic pair of glasses,” Erzurum said.
Many of the students needed moderate to severe vision correction. Volunteers say the corrective lenses will make a drastic difference in their school work.
“They’ve been going to school and they need glasses and they haven’t had them. So the fact that now they can get these glasses for free, it’s going to help them in their educational setting,” Mancini said.
To learn more about Sight for All and its services, visit their website.