Guest Editorial: The Gift of Sight

By Gilbert Guru

More than 10 million children in low-income communities are forced to live each and every day without clear vision. EyeCare4Kids provides the solution and is helping kids in the Valley see the leaves on a tree: clearly and affordably.

EyeCare4Kids has been in the Valley for years offering kids affordable eye care, and its mission just became easier. For the first time, the charity has opened an on-site eye care facility in Glendale, located at the Alhambra Family Resource Center off Maryland Avenue with services ranging from eye exams to glasses, free of charge.

Many of us may take eyesight for granted, either you have 20/20 vision or your insurance covers your glasses. However, there are many kids in the Valley, and across the world, that live their lives without clear sight. It inhibits all aspects of their lives from not being to read the whiteboard in class to not being able to see the ball in youth sports.

Ric Rios, an optometrist in Paradise Valley, told ABC15 in an interview that “80% of what we learn in school comes through your vision, and a lot of children who are misdiagnosed with learning disorders and behavior problems simply can’t see.”

The time of the Valley’s children thinking they are broken or unimportant because their parents cannot afford eye care is over.

Glasses can have an immediate and positive impact on children by increasing performance in school, and increasing confidence. Access to clear vision should not be limited and hindered by access to affordable eye exams and glasses, the Valley’s underrepresented youth needs to see, and they need to see clearly.