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Foundation support is important

Imagine for a moment that you couldn’t see hardly anything except blurry shapes and blobs. What would you miss out on?

You couldn’t drive to work, and likely couldn’t work, either. You couldn’t see the faces of beloved family members and friends. You wouldn’t be able to read a book in the way you’ve been accustomed your entire life. You would have a very difficult time caring for yourself. Making sure you were taking the correct medication would be next to impossible without outside help. It would be hard to prepare meals, too. Not accustomed to this level of inability, you might seclude yourself from the world and just sit at home, not really able to do much of anything.

This is the reality faced by many people in our society. But fortunately, the Western Tidewater Free Clinic is helping people get their vision back, and they have a lot of good partners in the community.

One of those partners has stepped up in a big way. The Virginia Eye Foundation gave $20,000 last year in an unsolicited donation and increased that support this year, giving $25,000.

The free clinic was so grateful for the continued and increased support that it renamed the vision room in honor of the foundation on Friday, when foundation Chief Executive Officer Karen Spencer stopped by to give the newest donation.

The clinic started in 2007 caring for patients ages 19 to 64 who live at or below twice the federal poverty level, have no health insurance and live in Suffolk, Franklin, Isle of Wight County or Southampton County. Initially, it cared for patients with common conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, asthma and the like, but it didn’t take long to realize that other factors such as dental, vision, hearing and mental health are also crucial to a patient’s overall health.

The clinic has been growing its services in these areas over the years with the support of many foundations like Virginia Eye Foundation, and this week’s donation will help ensure that vision care at the clinic continues to grow.

We appreciate the Virginia Eye Foundation’s support and look forward to hearing about the good work the clinic is able to accomplish using this donation.