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Coastal Vision Community Outreach: Portsmouth Vision Clinic

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Portsmouth Vision Clinic

An extension of our Coastal Vision Cares initiative: providing vision care for those without.

On October 21st, 2017, the Coastal Vision team partnered with Homeland Disciples and Virginia Supportive Housing to provide eye exams and glasses for the residents of South Bay Apartments.

Virginia Supportive Housing is an incredible organization that helps individuals transition from homelessness and reclaim their lives.

The clinic was able to see about 40 patients for comprehensive exams that assessed both the vision quality and health of the eye. Patients were then fitted with glasses that addressed their needs.

We interviewed our Sales Manager, Caleb Bryan, to see how this event impacted members of our team.

Q: How did you feel going into this event?

A: Honestly, I was stressed out. I wanted this event to be perfect. These are people who have either never had an eye exam, or they have been few and far between. I wanted them to know they deserved quality eye care. It was important to me that this event had a strong impact on the residents, and I wanted it to live up to those expectations.

Q: How was the rest of the team feeling?

A: The team was excited; the attitude felt electric. These were people who were genuinely excited about helping others. The energy was infectious, and you couldn't help but smile the entire time the residents were going through exams.

Q: Were the residents excited about their exams?

A: The residents were PUMPED. Not only for their glasses, but I think to know that people genuinely wanted to talk with them. They've lived so long as just a statistic that I think they've forgotten what it is like to be treated as any other patron. They were so appreciative and kind, and their conversation held nothing back. Some had never truly seen clearly before. They laughed, cried, and embraced their emotions. It was an amazing reminder that everyone is human, and the everyday interactions we have with others can be taken for granted so easily.

Q: What will you take away from this experience?

A: Well I'm very proud to work for a company that allows its employees to participate in giving back this way. We all took such an active role in helping these people see again. I've contributed in other ways before, but none required so much of me and still gave me so much in return. I feel invested in the lives of these individuals now. Changing other people's lives is possible without being a millionaire philanthropist, or a big corporation. Simply seek out an opportunity and try.

If you would like to learn more about Virginia Supportive Housing and how you can help, please click here.

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