The free vision clinics at A Second Chance, Inc., provide adults, caregivers and children long-overdue eye exams from a team of doctors, as well as new eyeglasses—at no cost. The agency hosts the vision clinics in partnership with Mission Vision, a Pennsylvania-based medical mission program that provides eye care domestically and abroad.
“Among those we serve here and in the community, the need for eye exams and eyeglasses is great,” says David Brock, D. Min., who organizes the vision clinics. ASCI is able to help meet those needs for many.
“This wonderful benefit to our children and families is life-changing,” he adds.
Mission Vision Executive Director Terry Snider says the nonprofit visits about one school or community-based organization per week and provides approximately 3,000 pairs of free glasses each year to those who cannot afford them. About 50 percent of Mission Vision’s patients are school children or at-risk youth under the age of 18.
Snider, a retired airline pilot, is also part of the mobile clinic team, along with an optometrist and three optometry techs. While Snider sometimes misses life as a pilot, donning scrubs and working in the community with the “vision ministry” has become his calling. “I wanted to do something that would have eternal value,” he says.
At ASCI, the motivation is no different when providing needed services and programs to its neighbors and those it serves.
The vision clinics are one of many ways ASCI demonstrates its commitment to keeping kinship in the community. For Mission Vision, Snider said, this is what makes ASCI an ideal partner. The nonprofit does not work directly with the public. Instead, it partners with organizations like ASCI that are engaged in the community and support the children and families who live there.
“We want to have a presence in the place where we work and help strengthen children, families and communities,” Brock says. “For those in care and who are not, we want to be a source of empowerment, information and care.”
Children and families who are prescribed glasses at the ASCI vision clinics are able to select their new frames, some designer, from hundreds that Mission Vision provides. Once Mission Vision completes the prescription, patients can pick up their new glasses in just a few weeks.
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