On the first Tuesday of every other month (sometimes, every month), SF CARES and Saint Paulus Lutheran church offers a fantastic service for those who need eye care: a free
eye exam and free prescription glasses.
For so many people in San Francisco, having basic health care can't be classed as a necessity or luxury because the monthly costs don't even come into their budget equation. Adding vision medical insurance is therefore a complete no-no. When we're all down on our luck, have very little cash, barely or never break even and just need a blessing in disguise, it takes just the small feats of kindness that give us hope and uplifts our spirits.
Our Vision Event is one of these blessings. Paid for by our
charitable organization and donors (volunteering their time or offering a
donation), over the past few years, we've seen thousands of locals receive a
free eye test and prescription glasses - we helped give the gift of sight to over 640 locals in 2016 alone. Here's how it works:
When Saint Paulus's doors open at 10.00am, the first 45* people in line will receive a ticket. That ticket is traded in for an eye test. Once the test is complete, the individual can return to Saint Paulus within the next two weeks and pick up their prescription glasses. It's that simple...and free. *This number is subject to change.
Have you ever seen anyone jump for joy that they can now see clearly, and it didn't cost them a dime? We have....and we see it at each Vision Event. There are philanthropists that donate glasses frames for us and others who donate their time in setting up/managing the event on the day. But even with time and money donated, it still costs us a tremendous amount of cash to keep our long-standing program running.
This is alongside managing the dozens of calls and emails we receive every week from individuals and healthcare experts in San Francisco, all wanting to know when the next eye exam is.
San Francisco is riddled with high earners that don't think twice about the luxury of having a full medical plan. In stunning contrast, people that come to our Vision Events are low income locals that are greatly struggling to afford food, fuel and heating so medical care (especially vision) is an expense that they absolutely cannot afford. That's why we help them.
You have to see it to believe it!
If you have glasses or frames that you don't need anymore, please drop them off at Saint Paulus Church, 1541 Polk Street on Wednesdays between 9am-12pm. This really helps us keep our costs down. If you know of an optician or optometrist that has spare frames, please send these to us. And if you're an optometrist (even retired), please consider donating your time to run the eye tests on our event days*...or fill up the prescription glasses for us. *We have an on-site optometry machine/equipment including phoropters.
Read more here from way back...