Sight for All gives glasses to YCS students

By Amanda Tonoli


Twenty-six Youngs- town students will see a clearer future thanks to a visit from Sight for All ophthalmologists Monday morning.

Sight for All volunteers visited Youngstown Community School to give free eye exams and order free glasses for students in need.

School Principal Heidi Cope-Barker said the visit is just one example of “wraparound” services schools provide.

“It’s another wonderful opportunity in partnering with the United Way,” she said.

The services are not school exclusive – through a variety of donations of time and money opportunities like this are possible.

Classic Optical Laboratories, Essilor Vision Foundation, Modern Optical International and Opticians Association of Ohio are some of the organizations that help provide children with free eye exams and eyeglasses.

“This was a tremendous community effort and involved many pieces to accomplish,” said Sergul Erzurum, Eye Care Associates ophthalmologist and president of Sight for All.

Cope-Barker said the students were very excited.

“It was such a good experience for them,” she said. “There were several styles and frames for the kids and they got to choose their glasses – their free glasses.”

Brenda Scott, United Way program coordinator, said the experience was simply “awesome.”

“Today we did something very special for the kids we serve in the city,” she said. “We did something we are trying to do every day at the United Way which is trying to be a hub for families.”

Erzurum said she was humbled by the volunteers and cooperation of local businesses.

“Everyone [wanted] to help the children of our community,” she said. “These kids were all wonderful. Each one was respectful, thankful and happy.”

Scott said it felt good to be able to take one stressor away from not only the students, but also their families.

It is her hope that students will be able to do even better in school with their new glasses.

“This is just another example of Youngstown Community School’s work with the United Way being a success and making our children successful,” Cope-Barker said.

Scott said, ideally, this opportunity will continue on an annual basis.

“It’s nice for people to see, especially to the United Way donors, the funds you are giving the United Way you can see truly being given back to the community,” Scott said.

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