AJC’s Doing Good: Organization provides vision services to those in need
By: Devika Rao (AJC)
Optometrist Nancy Barr knew that there were people in need of vision services.
“There are people literally going blind in our metropolitan area because they cannot afford eye care or the medications to prevent their vision loss,” said Barr. “Eye exams are valuable to people’s wellbeing, and I wanted to donate my services and time.”
Barr approached the Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation, the statewide provider of vision and hearing services to underinsured Georgians, about bringing portable eye equipment to the Fayette Care Clinic, a local nonprofit that serves uninsured low income residents of Fayette County.
Barbara Hairston, one of Barr’s patient, sought GLLF’s services when she started having vision troubles.
“At work, I wasn’t able to read the small print of the prescription labels, and I would need a co-worker to fill out office paperwork since I couldn’t see it,” said Hairston. “Fayette Care Clinic referred me for my vision problems, and I got the glasses I needed which have helped me a lot in work and everyday life.”
Barr, and doctors like her, are the foundation of the organization’s services and outreach in the community.
“We look to doctors in communities where we have established a need to collaborate with us and see our patients in their area,” said Green, noting how people can get involved with the nonprofit. “Also, there is an overwhelming need for volunteers to help us wash and sort recycled glasses.”
Referring family vision or hearing specialists to the Lighthouse can help increase GLLF’s impact across the state. Also, donating to the Eyeglass Recycling Program or hosting an eyeglass recycling drive can help the foundation send eyeglasses overseas and distribute them to local shelters, nursing homes and more.
In 2014, The Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation provided over 11,000 services to 7,500 children, adults, and seniors.