Mission To Mexico By Dr. Robert Fox, OD, FCOVD

| March 2, 2018

Did you ever wonder what happened to all those used eyeglasses collected by your local optometrist? Did the metal get melted down? Did the lenses get reused or recycled? Were they given to the needy?

Well….the answer is…they get sent to other countries where optometrists, opticians, and other helpers set up vision clinics! In fact, four of us at Fox Vision Development were privileged to be part of one such mission. This February, my wife Randy, two vision therapists, Emma and Liz, and I made the trip to Gomez Palacio in central Mexico as part of a VOSH mission. VOSH stands for: Volunteer Optometric Service to Humanity. VOSH serves as a clearinghouse, supporting state and local VOSH chapters throughout the United States in their efforts to help those in need outside of the U.S. to get the vision care they need.

The experience was nothing short of amazing. With the incredible support of the Lion’s Club of Gomez Palacio, our team of 15 was able in five days, to provide eye exams and eyeglasses to over 1500 local residents in need. Our team was composed of volunteers from New York, South Dakota, North Carolina, and Minnesota. There are no words to describe the love we felt as the local volunteers opened their homes and their hearts to us. Language proved to not be a barrier to the friendships that developed and the rewards that came from knowing you have helped those less fortunate than ourselves.

The long hours of work we put into the clinic was balanced out by the evenings social events. These included Mexican Night, a barbeque, the awards banquet, and a chance to go shopping with our new friends. Nothing, however, can compare with the look on a child’s face when seeing the world clearly for the first time, or the joy of a 70-year-old patient doing her happy dance after getting her new glasses.

We returned home a bit sad to say goodbye to our new friends, but filled with joy by the work we had accomplished.  We all hope to return to Gomez Palacio and do this all again next year. And please don’t forget to donate your old glasses!


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Category: Fox Vision Therapy Blog

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