Our Very First Project
Seeing through a new lens
In 2012, the students of JCYF had a “clear vision” of how they could meet the needs of those unable to afford vision care in their community – provide a free annual Vision Clinic! As a result, about 150 patients each year receive a free eye exam and new eyeglasses. The far-reaching benefits can be seen in the faces, stories, and words of the community:
- One grandma, Gloria, after putting on her new glasses, gazed upon her granddaughter clearly for the first time. She tearfully exclaimed, “You’re so beautiful!”
- Another young patient gratefully stated, “Thank you for your service, schoolwork will be so much easier.”
Each JCYF Vision Clinic is run by medical professionals, along with student assistants. These student assistants benefit from these vision clinics in many ways:
- Students learn new skills, gain confidence, and leave with patient stories that forever touch and guide them.
- Rilynn Hansen, a former JCYF president, summed it up nicely, “Have you ever seen the look of pure joy upon someone’s face? Do you remember that overwhelming happiness that welled up within you? So often people forget what giving is all about.”
- Another former JCYF officer, MaryAnn Ellis stated, “It’s a great experience to be able to benefit someone who doesn’t have access to what can be an everyday necessity for many people. But to be able to experience the benefits hands-on, that experience is unparalleled.”
The vision clinic brings the community together in ways that will forever have a profound effect on the lives of those around us.
Partnership with AmigoVision
JCYF partners with Dr. Kurt Wilkening of AmigoVision to make the free vision clinics possible. AmigoVision is an organization that travels to developing third world countries providing full-service care clinics.
Partnering with students, Dr. Wilkening said, “It continues to bring me great pleasure to be able to utilize my knowledge to help others in need. Equally important, exposing high school students to optometry and the equipment in the field, opens a whole new world of opportunities for their future.”
Benefits of JCYF Free Vision Clinics
- JCYF, in eight vision clinics, has served over 1,000 residents in Josephine County of which 90% needed and received free glasses.
- Students have the opportunity to work alongside certified medical professionals throughout several stations.
- Students are exposed to a new career pathway – Optometry.
Locations of JCYF Vision Clinics Throughout the Years
- Grants Pass Fairgrounds (2012)
- Illinois Valley High School (2014)
- North Valley High School (2015)
- Williams (2016)
- Grants Pass Fairgrounds (2017)
- Illinois Valley High School (2018)
- Grants Pass Fairgrounds (2018)
- Rogue River Elementary (2019)
- Grants Pass Fairgrounds (2020)
(Photo to the right – Vision Clinic at Rogue River Elementary)