Eye Clinic Goes Beyond Expectations
Over 600 residents screened in the four-day clinic
By Léo Azambuja
Give the Gift of Sight (GTGOS) foundation expected to help 500 residents on last week’s four-day clinic. The four doctors and 10 technicians who volunteered in the clinic ended up screening 611 Molokai residents, almost 10 percent of the island’s population.
The doctors and technicians concluded that 474 residents needed glasses. Next month, on September 5 and 6, GTGOS will return to Molokai bringing free glasses for all those who needed them.
The clinic had a huge background preparation. Adding all the children pre-screened in schools during the months prior to the clinic, GTGOS went through 1,021 residents.
Partnering with GTGOS, Molokai Lions Club (MLC) was a key player in making this event possible. “The Lions Club I estimated put in about 400 volunteer hours,” MLC public relations Bob Dreyer said.
But MLC and GTGOS also had help from different parts of the community in this mega charity event. Ten member’s of Leo’s Club, a High School organization, also helped, as well as two Lions Club members from Oahu.
“Everybody was very thankful,” said May Thomas, event Coordinator and GTGOS member. Thomas said one of the MLC members, PJ White, got stopped in Kaunakakai by one of the ladies who benefited from the clinic. The lady couldn’t hold back her tears, and soon White started crying too.
Local businesses on Molokai donated services or gave hefty discounts to volunteers, allowing the clinic to happen. Dreyer, in name of all volunteers, thanks Hotel Molokai, Aloha Island Air, Molokai Ferry, Na Pu`uwai, Molokai Community Health Center, Makoa Trucking, and Young Bros.
GTGOS volunteers are Luxottica employees, who donate their time to the foundation’s enterprises. Luxottica is the parent-company of well-known businesses worldwide, such as Sun Glass Hut, Lens Crafters and Sears Optical, among others.
The foundation has helped over 5 million financially and optically challenged people worldwide. It was the first time GTGOS came to Molokai.