Proper vision and healthy eyes are critical to a high quality of life. For those disadvantaged by income, distance or disaster–places like Chester, PA, a city with a 33% poverty level and adopted by VSP in 2010—eye care can give adults and kids the boost they need to compete in school, work and life.
For the sixth consecutive year, VSP partnered with NBA star and Chester native Tyreke Evans to provide no-cost eye exams and glasses for people in need on board a VSP Mobile Eyes clinic.
With the support of 10 VSP doctors, more than 680 patients received access to an eye exam and glasses, including Rachael Lewis, who spoke about some of the struggles people with uncorrected vision problems experience.
“I’ve been going through a lot not being able to see, not being able to get jobs because of not being able to see,” she said.
Additionally, another 200 gift certificates were provided to Chester City Hall to distribute to Chester Upland School District staff and residents who qualify, but weren’t able to visit the mobile clinic. The certificates can be used at a VSP doctor’s office for no-cost eye exams and glasses.
To inspire children in his hometown, Evans visited Frederick Douglass Christian School for a Q&A session, a few games on the court, and a hug from his second-grade teacher. During the weekend, Evans teamed up with VSP employees to host the free VSP Tyreke Evans Basketball Camp for kids in grades 4-12 at Chester High School. 132 campers practiced their skills with Team Final Basketball coaches, then headed home with backpacks full of school supplies and Nike sunglasses and apparel.
To recognize the ongoing commitment of Evans and VSP, the City of Chester presented keys to the city to Evans and Jim McGrann, current VSP president and VSP Global CEO-elect, who accepted on behalf of VSP.
Since 2009, Evans and VSP have delivered eye care and eyewear to nearly 3,000 Chester residents. Looking forward, we’re exploring how to ensure residents in Chester and other communities in need have continuous access to eye care.
Big thanks to the City of Chester and Matthew McGuigan, OD; Deepika Bagga, OD; Megan Buliano, OD; Christine Chmielewski, OD; Jack Hauler, OD; Scott Tucci, OD; William Ceraso, OD; Luis Trujillo, OD; Edward Zikoski, OD; and Rebecca Verna, OD.