One out of every 7 children in Butler County are in need of glasses or contact lenses, according to Butler Tech Bioscience Center seniors Cammie Whiles (Edgewood) and Megan Torbeck (Colerain).
Both are part of the Health Tech program at Butler Tech and have teamed up for a Community Awareness project educating the public about vision and hearing issues. At the same time, they are asking for donations of unwanted or used glasses, to be refurbished for those in need.
“We will be donating them to OneSight by LensCrafters,” said Cammie. “Children can get them there and they won’t have to pay anything for their glasses.”
OneSight is a charity partner of Lens Crafters that works both locally and globally. For over 25 years, LensCrafters associates and doctors have worked with OneSight to provide vision care to more than 9 million people in 41 countries.
Cammie and Megan became passionate on the topic of vision and hearing inadequacy after working with children in local schools, last year, as juniors.
“After helping out in schools, with the school nurses, we saw that most kids didn’t understand the importance of getting their vision and hearing checked, “ said Megan. “Also, we found they would become embarrassed or shy if they got the answer wrong during the screening.”
Both Cammie and Megan were trained to perform vision and hearing screenings by the Ohio Department of Health. The training is a requirement, so they feel fortunate to have received it while still in high school.
“We received our training through power points and actual hands-on training,” said Megan.
Through the Health Tech program, they’ve learned the importance of early screenings in children.
“If children don’t get proper eye care, their eye sight will progressively get worse and in some cases, lead to blindness,” said Cammie.
“We just want them to be able to get the care now that they need, because it will allow them to have a better future, it will make their learning easier, and they can experience life to the fullest,” said Megan.
The pair have taken their passion and Community Awareness project which they entitled “Yes I hear you, No I don’t need glasses!” to competition through Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA). They won first place in their category, at school, and will compete again, in late February.
The goal was to collect 300 pairs of glasses by February 10, 2017. Through the help of their school guidance counselor Laurie Mischell and several home school counselors who she spoke with, so far 235 pairs have been collected.
“We would definitely continue on after this campaign, because we didn’t realize just how many people were in need until we did the research,” said Megan.
Glasses or contacts (still in the packaging) may be dropped off at the Bioscience Center, 8450 Capstone Boulevard, West Chester, Ohio 45069
Cammie and Megan say the best part of their Community Awareness project was simply educating kids while helping improve their health.
“We both find sharing with the younger kids to not only be fun, but it shows improvement in their knowledge,” said Cammie. “That is very rewarding.”