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Home » News » Helping Foster Teens See Their Future Clearly

Helping Foster Teens See Their Future Clearly

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A big part of EYEcenter culture and brand is looking for ways to give back to our community. We were fortunate to be given that opportunity in the form of a partnership with Dress 2 Soar, an organization that provides local teens with services to help them once they leave the foster care system. We are honored and blessed to share in the prosperity and uplifting of these youths and to be featured on the Dress 2 Soar Blog on 7/13/19:

For those that own or manage a local business, I bet you wonder how you can give back to your community in a way that changes, if not transforms lives.

For those who want to purchase products and services from local businesses, but do so with businesses that truly care about their community, it can be really difficult to find them.

We are surrounded by large corporate box stores and small business owners, all competing for your attention and money. More and more of us are becoming diligent in our research before we do business with someone. We want to make sure that they are trustworthy, honorable, and ethical. More often, we take referrals from those we trust to help speed us through life.

Many businesses do wonderful work for the community and the world. Some don’t. How do you find the ones that care for “the least of these” and love their community? Unless you can afford a billboard on the freeway, we are left hoping someone will tell us or we stumble across it in our life’s journey.

Can I be your guide on that journey for just a moment?

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EYEcenter staff helping Koinonia Home for Teens with new frames

Let me introduce you to EYEcenter Optometric.

Dress 2 SOAR introduced EYEcenter to Koinonia Home for Teens in Loomis a few years ago when we saw a need for the teens to receive eye care services as part of our life skills and style training workshops. One of our volunteers and leaders, Chris Ortiz, reached out to EYEcenter as he knew the owner’s heart was to serve and help the community. Over the years, EYEcenter would come out to the school and provide vision screenings as well as access to the eyewear for styling. All of us saw a need for streamlining the process to ensure that all the teens that came into the Koinonia program, had access to great vision.

Starting in 2019, EYEcenter forged a wonderful partnership with Koinonia Home for Teens and created a process where each teen that comes into the program has access to eye care services

You might be thinking, “Hey, don’t the teens have access to healthcare while at Koinonia Home for Teens”?” The answer is YES. Every teen is cared for with all the medical care one deserves but there is a gap in our eye care industry when it comes to youth in foster care.

Government health insurance is the standard for these wonderful youth and for the most part, is a good experience for the teens. Standard medical services provided by large healthcare entities give the teens a professional and respectful experience, just like those of us on corporate health insurance. Eye care services, for the most part, don’t fit into that model. More and more Optometrists are not taking government health insurance due to the complexity of billing, patient regulations, and the excessively low reimbursement rates to the providers. For those reasons, the teens are left with very few choices for providers and the quality of the experience, unfortunately, has degraded as well.

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Dr. Lee helping fit a Koinonia teen with new glasses.

In stepped EYEcenter Optometric. They saw the need to provide a fun, respectful, and enjoyable experience for the teens – providing them access to a high-end medical and retail experience.

Today, the teen “mom” or “dad”, which are the home leadership, reach out to EYEcenter when a new teen arrives and sets up an appointment for the teen to receive the eye exam. EYEcenter Optometric in Rocklin provides the same wonderful experience to the teen as they do for all of their regular patients.

Here’s the latest update from Eyecenter’s Ericka T – Assistant Manager

Rocklin has had about 8-10 total foster teens come in for eye exams within the past couple months. We have put in place a routine that seems to be working seamlessly! The foster moms will email me with a request for their teen to be seen for an eye exam, I get them on the books for an appointment and if any glasses are needed upon doctor requests, we have a great selection for the teen’s to choose from!

Earlier last week, one of the foster teens, Victoria, came in to pick up her glasses with her foster mom. Victoria was so happy and excited for her new glasses and was thankful that she was able to see so clearly now!

Here’s a local business that is transforming lives in our community, in a big way.

If you would like to learn more about EYEcenter Optometric, please visit their website here. If you would like to learn more about Koinonia Home for Teens, please visit their website here.

Want to learn a little more about vision challenges in our nation, please visit these websites.

https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/study-finds-most-americans-have-good-vision-14-million-are-visually-impaired

https://www.essilorusa.com/newsroom/shocking-vision-statistics

Author- Tim Wickham, Program Director for Dress 2 SOAR.

Copied with permission, originally published here.