In observance of Healthy Vision Month 2020, Assistance League of the Bay Area would like to recognize and thank Dr. Thomas J. Thomas, O.D., from Nasa Vision Center for his service to the community. Assistance League has had a steadfast relationship with Nasa Vision Center, dating back to when it was owned by Dr. Melissa Sommers, O.D., to provide eye exams and eyeglasses to area students in need.
Assistance League of the Bay Area is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization that changes lives through philanthropic programs in the Houston Bay Area. They provide many services to families in the Bay Area, including new school clothes, prom attire, and food. They also provide eye exams to children who are struggling to see in school. The organization partners with Communities In Schools – Bay Area, Inc., a local agency of a national nonprofit organization that focuses on keeping students in school to graduation. Student Support Specialists from Communities In Schools notify Assistance League when a student under their care may have eye problems that affect their learning. Assistance League refers the student to Nasa Vision Center who works with the family to set up an appointment. Assistance League pays a small fee to help defray the administrative cost of the appointment. The optometrists donate their time and the glasses.
These students have been identified as at-risk for dropping out of school. When vision problems complicate an already difficult learning situation, the result can be devastating for a child. Student Support Specialists from Communities In Schools report that improvement in grades and attitudes of these students can be astounding. One student from Dickinson Independent School District made Honor Roll for the first time after receiving glasses from Dr. Thomas.
Another student, a senior in the Clear Creek Independent School District, accidentally broke his glasses. His eyesight was pretty bad, so he was desperate for a new pair. His parents could not afford to take him to the eye doctor. After he received a thorough exam at Nasa Vision Center, he then had the opportunity to pick out frames he liked. He stated that everyone was extremely nice to him and he appreciated the time they took to make him feel comfortable and special. He further stated he did not realize how bad his eyesight was until he had the exam – his old glasses were five years old. He and his parents were extremely grateful for the assistance.
When caring community members work together, all of our children can look forward to bright futures.