Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia (BCBSGA) helped 1,500 children in DeKalb County receive new eyeglasses and vision testing as part of the OneSight Vision Clinic that visited Avondale Estates last week.
The clinic, held at the DeKalb School for
the Arts in the former Avondale High School building, was sponsored by the
BCBSGA and WellPoint Foundation. Dan Piacentini is one of 15 BCBSGA associates who
volunteered at the clinic. As Piacentini led 14-year-old Jared* to pick out his
very first pair of glasses, he could see his face light up.
“I remember his smile when he saw the pair he liked, and when he tried them on, that smile grew even bigger,” Piacentini said. “Jared left that day being able to see clearly for the first time in years, and that not only made my day as a volunteer worthwhile, it made me proud to work for a company that makes a difference.”
Throughout the five-day clinic, hundreds of students, who were pre-identified by community organizations and schools, received their exams before visiting OneSight’s production vehicle, known as “EyeLeen” – a complete manufacturing facility on wheels. After selecting the frame of their choice, each student, just like Jared, left wearing brand new, fitted glasses.
According to the American Optometric Association, approximately 80 percent of what students learn is visual, yet one in four students in North America have an undetected vision problem that can impede their ability to do well in school. BCBSGA’s partnership with OneSight, is addressing this need.
Since 2005, the BCBSGA/WellPoint Foundation has awarded OneSight $289,000 to support OneSight’s Vision Clinics for children across the country. Along with funding from additional organizations, the clinics provide services to upwards of 25,000 students each year.
This story was prepared by BCBSGA and edited for publication.