According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 11 million Americans 12 years of age and older could improve their vision through proper refractive correction, and we at Tzu Chi have witnessed this fact firsthand.
Picture yourself as a child who endures persistent headaches from straining their eyes – their grades are suffering, and they are feeling quite down. Now, Imagine that same child receiving their very first pair of prescription eyeglasses – the smiles they bring, the headaches that finally abate, and the grades that soar once the board finally comes into focus, with crystal clarity. Perhaps this child didn’t even know they needed glasses, or perhaps the expense was simply too costly for a family with no health insurance.
We’ve set out to ease this burden through our state-of-the-art Vision Mobile Clinics. Beginning in 2013, our Fresno Vision Mobile Program has traveled straight into the heart of communities most in need throughout Southern California to offer vision tests, basic eye exams, and prescription lenses on site to students – all at no cost.
Thanks to our generous sponsors and dedicated partners who also aspire to benefit communities through creating healthy environments, we’ve been able to expand the reach of our Vision Mobile Program.
Tzu Chi volunteers embarked on their latest journey directly after the inauguration at the 2019 TIMA Global Forum, with two brand new Vision Mobile Units. Their destination: New York City.
Day one of the road trip led to a stop at the Tzu Chi Service Center in Las Vegas, where we met for a presentation with the local Lions Club, and from there, the road led us through Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Nebraska, the Rocky Mountains, Chicago, Iowa, and Illinois; through Indiana, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.
Upon reaching New York, volunteers were treated to a traditional Lion Dance performance, and invited those from the media to take a guided tour of the vans. With this chapter complete, another new one begins, and we can’t wait to share it with you all as we strive to make a positive difference for even more people.
Be sure to stay tuned for frequent updates on social media!