The temperature soared to 105 degrees in Lamont yesterday, however it was cool inside the Vision To Learn mobile vision clinic, where local students received free eye exams.
“SoCalGas partnered with Vision To Learn to bring the nonprofit to Kern County for the first time. It will be lifechanging for the children who will be receiving new glasses. We know that many families are going through challenging times so it’s especially important to provide this resource at no cost,” said SoCalGas Director of Community Relations Trisha Muse.
According to Vision To Learn, an estimated 40,000 students in Kern County go to school every day without the glasses they need to see the board, read a book, or participate in class. Vision To Learn currently operates full time programs in the counties of Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange, Riverside, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Alameda, as well as in 12 other states and the District of Columbia.
Damian Carroll, Vision To Learn’s National Director said, “Thank you SoCalGas for supporting Vision To Learn’s Vision Day event at the Boys & Girls Club of Kern County in Lamont. This project provides free eye exams and glasses for students in preparation for the new school year.”
“The vision event is a great opportunity for the kids in our community, especially for those without insurance,” said Becky Madera, Area Program Director for the Boys & Girls Club of Kern County in Lamont.
Claudia Quintino, Vineland School District Categorical Secretary, brought 40 students to the event and said that many of their parents are farmworkers. “The eye exam that the children are receiving today is beneficial because many parents in this community don’t have access to visual testing.”
Vision To Learn has helped kids in over 500 underserved communities throughout the United. The organization serves the needs of the hardest-to-reach children; about 90% of kids served by Vision To Learn live in poverty and about 85% are kids of color. Since its founding, Vision To Learn has helped provide more than 1.5 million children with vision screenings, over 340,000 with eye exams and 270,000 with glasses – all free of charge to children and their families. This year, the organization expects to supply another 100,000 children with glasses.
Last year, SoCalGas donated $9.6 million to nonprofit organizations across its service area, including $4.8 million in health and human services and $2.3 million for educational causes. SoCalGas has partnered with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Kern County for many years, particularly in supporting educational programs offered after school and during the summer.