Great Shape!’s iCare project offers free eye-care services to the people of Jamaica and serves around 2,000 Jamaicans in rural communities.
So…where do all these supplies come from? Well, collecting medication and thousands of eyeglasses is no easy task. It requires huge chunks of time, quite a bit of sweat, and true dedication.
This past Saturday, some of Great Shape!’s star volunteers, Steven Stern and Amy Malone loaded pallets of glasses and equipment to be shipped out to Jamaica for iCare 2012. They inventoried, labeled, loaded, and wrapped pallets. The whole process took a total of 5 hours!
Amy is a Washington State Licensed Dispensing Optician. This is her third year volunteering with iCare. She said, “The shipment contains several thousand pair of glasses and several thousand more of sunglasses. The glasses are a mix of donated and new…donated glasses came from Lions Club Eyeglass Recycling (LERC) as well as other sources. Some were processed by myself along with the students of the School of Opticianry at Seattle Central Community College (where I work), as well as colleagues of mine in the Seattle area.”
The shipment also includes medications and eye-care equipment. The medications consist of standard eye exam supplies alongside medications for glaucoma and artificial tears. The equipment contains two lensometers, used to read prescriptions from patients’ current glasses. Amy commented, “[These] help the doctors to know what the patient has been wearing.”
Last year, the iCare team was able to send a slit-lamp and table, as well as an auto-refractor to Jamaica. Slit-lamps are used to look into the eye to examine the retina. Auto-refractors are used to take corneal measurements and give a reading of the patients’ refractive error.
We know that 5 hours of packing supplies is tough work! This just shows that our volunteers have a lot of endurance and a lot of heart.
Thank you Steven and Amy for all your hard work!