Optometry Giving Sight is a new partner
The Houston Health Foundation welcomed Optometry Giving Sight as a new partner in the See to Succeed children’s vision safety net program. Optometry Giving Sight donated $15,800. This support came at a particularly vulnerable time for the children of Houston. Families were struggling to recover from Hurricane Harvey and the ensuring floods, which left thousands of children displaced from their homes.
The Houston Health Foundation supports the Houston Health Department’s See to Succeed program, which provides free eye exams and glasses each year to more than 11,000 children enrolled in Houston-area school districts with support from community partners.
See to Succeed organizes a series of week-long vision clinics each school year. The clinics provide vision screening, full optometry exams and frame selection and fitting for a pair of new, high-quality glasses for children lacking access to optometry services.
"Like so many others, Optometry Giving Sight wanted to find a way to provide support to the people of Houston in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, especially in relation to vision care and our global commitment to Our Children’s Vision," said Clive Miller, CEO. "We are delighted to be entering into this partnership with the See to Succeed program, as it clearly has an excellent track record in providing eye care to children in the Houston area, and especially those that might otherwise fall through the cracks and not gain access to the vision care they need."
Optometry Giving Sight’s donation is supporting optometry, optical and education services for See to Succeed Children’s vison clinic. During the mission week, October 23-27, 64 schools were registered to participate. Student registration generally slightly exceeds the numbers actually participating due to some no-shows on the day of the clinic. In total, 1879 students were examined and 1762 of those students required glasses, or 94 %. Of those children, 226 were referred for medical follow-up of some kind. These statistics bear out the importance of the safety-net component of the See to Succeed mission as many children who participate in See to Succeed have very limited access to primary care. One day, 443 children were seen, which was a very high number for any given day.
The Clinic was staffed over the five days by a total of 44 optometrists and 25 optical students. On average, 34 volunteers contributed to the mission each day several of whom were referred and organized by Optometry Giving Sight.
Optometry Giving Sight joins a notable list of See to Succeed partners including the University of Houston College of Optometry, the San Jacinto College Eye Technology Program, Berkeley Eye Center, the Essilor Vision Foundation, Walmart and Onesight. Numerous organizations also contribute thousands of volunteer hours each year. The program has provided more than 48,000 glasses to Houston-area school children since 2012. Most recently the program’s partners provided immediate relief to flood evacuees staying in the George R Brown and NRG shelters.
Each year, an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 school-aged children have unresolved vision impairment in the Houston area.