Following our 2019 TIMA Global Forum, Tzu Chi volunteers embarked on another journey to deliver two brand new Vision Mobile units to New York City. The inauguration of the mobile units began with the See 2 Succeed program on September 18th. See 2 Succeed is a nonprofit partnership which works alongside schools to offer eye exams and glasses for children in underserved communities at no cost. Together, we endeavor to help enhance students’ learning experience by providing free prescription eyeglasses for underprivileged students in the Greater New York area.
The Launch of See 2 Succeed
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held outside the Brooklyn District office for two brand new, state-of-the-art Vision Mobile units. Attendees included Senator John Chun Liu, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, and Freeman Su, the CEO of Tzu Chi USA’s New York Branch.
During the event, it was officially announced that the two mobile units would focus on serving kindergarten to third-grade students, and provide eyeglasses for low-income students at no-cost. The services will begin at local public schools in Brooklyn, and then expand to neighboring cities.
The first school that benefited from the program was Kappa V Academy in Brownsville, Brooklyn.
Keeping our Promise
Two Tzu Chi Vision Mobile units were delivered by five Tzu Chi medical volunteers from our National Headquarters in California, all the way to the New York branch. They drove 4,500 kilometers across four time zones so their services could bring not only clarity but hope to children in need.
Freeman Su, CEO of the Tzu Chi New York Branch, thanked the local government officials for their support in implementing the See 2 Succeed program at the ribbon-cutting ceremony:
Glasses Ready in One Hour
Although the appearance of the two Vision Mobile units is similar, they each have their own special functions. The equipment in one unit can diagnose eye conditions, provide examinations, and provide prescriptions. The other unit presents the selection of eyeglasses according to the results, and the children can pick out the frame and style they like best.
Students who need glasses can wait for their glasses while they are being polished, adjusted, and lenses are mounted into frames suitable for both eyes. Then, they can finally wear their new glasses and see this wonderful world in all its clarity.
Richard Yang, head of the Tzu Chi Medical Department in New York, introduced the program to staff at the district office:
James Chuang, an optometrist and a member of TIMA, explained in detail how the Vision Mobile unit is equipped with all the machinery that can diagnose eye conditions and are also equipped with glasses at no cost to the students served. In addition to the frames on display, there are additional metal frames that have not yet been displayed which can give all students even more choices.
Service on Campus
Tzu Chi Vision Mobile provides eye care to the public on the spot. It’s a one-stop service, from the eye exam, to obtaining a pair of suitable eyeglasses. The staff from Eric Adam’s office of the Brooklyn District, who toured the mobile unit, expressed gratitude for Tzu Chi’s efforts.
Brooklyn Borough President Adams appreciated the ability to receive an eye exam and a new pair of glasses on the spot, and noted that the convenience of the Vision Mobile Clinic will greatly improve a student’s learning conditions. He furthermore proposed that he would share these benefits with the Department of Education, contact schools, and allow the Vision Mobile Clinic to serve additional school campuses as well.
We look forward to helping even more students in the future!