Difficulties making ends meet can have many unseen consequences. One of them includes neglecting to get help when a medical issue arises.
“A lot of them haven’t had an [eye] exam in six years, or fifteen years, or maybe they’ve just never done one,” said Deborah Duan, an optometrist based in Southern California. She’s part of a team of volunteer medical professionals at the Buddhist Tzu Chi Medical Foundation, which has been hosting medical outreaches in San Bernardino County since 1996.
The services provided, which now include visioncare, come at no cost to the patient from beginning to end. Deborah explains, “we’ll check their vision, and then their eye health, and then if we can we carve lenses for them, so that they can go home with a pair of glasses.” For many patients, getting free prescription glasses is a total surprise.
“They’re so happy and they cry,” she says, adding that the feeling goes both ways: “naturally, you’re happy that you helped them out that way.”
As we honor Tzu Chi Medical’s 30th Anniversary this year, watch the video and help us continue to provide these life-changing services with a generous donation at donate.tzuchi.us/cause/gift.