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Amarillo Family Eyecare offering free vision services to children in need Saturday

Published: Sep. 10, 2021 at 7:10 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - One in four children in the United States has a vision problem that affects their ability to learn, and many do not have access to the vision care they need.

Amarillo Family Eyecare is partnering with Essilor Vision Foundation’s Changing Life through Lenses program in an effort to help bridge the gap.

This program provides glasses at no cost as long as a practice provides a free eye exam, encouraging the practice to give back to the community

Amarillo Family Eyecare will offer free eye exams and glasses at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, September 11 to children who are 17 years old and younger, who are without vision insurance and are at or below poverty level.

The business said they have done this event in the past, however they were unable to hold it last year, so they are excited to be back.

“It’s such a warm and fuzzy feeling for not only myself and Dr. Chafin, but for our staff because we’ve been given a gift that allows us to give back to others in a fashion that is extremely important to people,” said Dr. Mackenzie Weir, Optometrist, Amarillo Family Eyecare.

She says they plan to serve as many as possible.

“There’s no sign-up. We’re just going to open our doors at 8:30 a.m. tomorrow morning and I am assuming, we’re hoping there’s a line out the door that we’re going to service as many as we can get to and then we’ll do most likely everybody that shows up,” said Dr. Weir.

Dr. Weir said seeing the impact their practice is making in children’s lives means a lot to her.

“The most rewarding thing is to get to see a patient before they have glasses and see them after they pick them up after a few months to follow-up and you hear their parent talk about how you have completely changed the life of that child,” said Dr. Weir. “They’re excited to go to school now, they’re excited to learn, they’re excited to engage in the learning capability.”

She also explained that glasses allow some to drive, giving the child independence or allowing them to play sports.

Essilor Vision Foundation said often, children do not realize they have a vision problem.

“Unlike hunger or tooth decay many of them are unable to self-identify or reflect that their vision is impaired,” said Andrea Haymore, vice president programs and alliances at the Essilor Vision Foundation.

Through the ‘Changing Life through Lenses’ program Essilor has served over 200,000 patients by providing glasses and have empowered doctors throughout the country to give back to their communities.

“Essilor Vision Foundation is grateful for Dr. Weir and the practices like Amarillo Family Eyecare for hosting ‘Changing Life through Lenses’ day, enriching their community with the gift of good vision,” said Haymore.

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