Hundreds of children to receive free eyecare, glasses

Wills Eye Hospital’s annual Give Kids Sight Day provides access to eyecare for children.

Hundreds of kids were given free eye exams, eye glass prescriptions, and

The event welcomes children ages 6 – 17 from Philadelphia and surrounding counties for free eye screenings at the Hospital, and then to return to pick up free eye glasses fitted to their needs.

two pairs of glasses this month through Wills Eye Hospital’s annual Give Kids Sight Day initiative.

According to a news release, the event welcomes children ages 6 – 17 from Philadelphia and surrounding counties for free eye screenings at the Hospital, and then to return to pick up free eye glasses fitted to their needs, courtesy of the OneSight EssilorLuxottica Vision Foundation.

This year’s Give Kids Sight Day served 155 children resulting in 310 pairs of glasses distributed. Volunteers from Wills Eye Hospital, Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University, and Wills Eye Wear donated their time to provide eye exams, follow-up care recommendations, eyeglass customization, and glasses pickup logistics. The 2022 glasses pickup event featured family fun including photo opportunities and a special guest appearance by Benjamin Franklin.

“Healthy vision and good eye care habits start at a young age. By providing healthcare access to children in our region we are setting them up for success later in life,” Julia A. Haller, MD, ophthalmologist-in-chief, Wills Eye Hospital, said in the news release. “Many of these children returned to school this fall struggling to see the board and Wills Eye Hospital is proud to do our part in removing a barrier to critical care these children need to thrive inside and outside the classroom. I want to thank our partners at the OneSight EssilorLuxottica Vision Foundation for ensuring every kid who needs glasses will receive them through their very generous donation.”

According to the news release, this year marked the first since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic that Give Kids Sight Day was back fully in person. Due to safety restrictions during the height of the pandemic, screenings were held virtually in 2020 and 2021 using an at-home test kit sent to registered families. Wills Eye Hospital provides this free service regardless of the insurance status of children and families. Since 2009, more than 10,000 children have received free eye care services through Give Kids Sight Day.

“The thousands of children we’ve seen over the years through Give Kids Sight Day underscore the community access imperative that organizations like Wills Eye Hospital are faced with,” Joseph P. Bilson, Chief Executive Officer for Wills Eye Hospital, said in the news release. “Our mission is to protect and preserve vision and we feel strongly that all children should have access to basic eye care. We are thrilled to once again help Philadelphia’s youth and I want to thank all of the volunteers who help to make this event a success.”

To learn more about Give Kids Sight Day, please visit https://www.willseye.org/give-kids-sight-day/.

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