Volunteers Help Improve Santa Ana Students’ Vision
On November 3rd,2012, Children’s Health Initiative of Orange County partnered with Kids Vision for Life and Santa Ana Unified School District to host a clinic that will provide free eye exams and glasses to two Santa Ana elementary schools, Walker and Roosevelt, whose students have some of the greatest needs in Orange County. To prepare for the clinic, two screenings were held over two days to screen 1,550 students for vision imparities. Throughout September the committee met at both schools preparing for the screenings and the major clinic that will be held at Walker Elementary in November. After weeks of preparation, and with the help of five doctors and 30 volunteers we identified 275 students who will be returning for eye exams and free glasses.
The screenings were a whirlwind as students from Kindergarten to 6th grade came in droves to the library to be screened by our volunteers and doctors. Volunteers from UC Irvine, CSU Fullerton, West Coast School of Nursing, and Children’s Health Initiative of Orange County worked diligently to see that the vision of all students was assessed. Two volunteers shared their experience:
“The Kids Vision for Life Event opened my eyes up to how necessary community involvement is and how great of an impact it can have on people’s lives. It was such a fun and rewarding experience, yet at the same time devastating seeing all the children struggling with their vision. I am a senior attending Cal State University, Fullerton studying sociology and psychology, so I am glad I finally can be a part of something that embraces what I’ve been so interested in. It felt wonderful to give back the community and allow myself to open my eyes to issues beyond the scope of my world and what I am used to. I would have never known how great of an impact events like these had on the community if I had not been a part of it myself. I look forward to participating in more events like Kids Vision for Life and continue to make a difference within the community.” – Amy, Cal State Fullerton senior and CHI OC intern.
“I have always enjoyed working and being around children. Their personalities and smiles are contagious. The vision screening at Walker Elementary was rewarding because I know I made an impact in a child’s life. Coming across students that had difficulty reading the letters made me sad because I can imagine how they struggle in their classroom and at home. These events are truly amazing because they make a huge difference.” –Dulce, Cal State Fullerton senior and CHI OC intern.
Volunteers left the Screenings sharing stories about tiny Kindergarteners and sassy 5th graders. Each volunteer had dedicated their time to make a difference in the lives students who will undoubtedly never forget the enthusiastic kindness of all the wonderful volunteers.