By Essilor News
Written by Bobbi-Lynne McGarry / Originally published in Last Mountain Times
A charity founded to help children learn through vision
In Saskatchewan, children under the age of 18 are covered for one eye exam per year through regular Sask Health benefits, however if your child requires glasses, this cost will have to paid out of your pocket if you do not have supplementary health coverage. According to the Saskatchewan Association of Optometrists, school children aged 6 to 19 years should undergo an eye examination annually and preschool children should undergo at least one eye examination between the ages of 2 and 5 years. Children’s eye-sight can change rapidly, therefore the cost of buying and replacing glasses can quickly become out of reach for many families.
Anna’s Vision, a charity that provides full eye exams and eyewear (when needed) to homeless and underprivileged children, teens and young adults, was developed in 2010 by Optometrist Dr. Diana Monea. In 2011 the program was extended to assist Mother Theresa Middle School in Regina, SK and to provide the same service to unwed mothers in school with the underlying principal that to learn you must see. The charity is named in memory of her mother Anna.
“She was like a nurse practitioner in the farming area that I rew up in in Southern Saskatchewan, near Kildeer,” Dr. Monea explained. “Our door was always open for helping those who were in need and the belief that mom taught her five kids was: work hard, give back, and if you see someone in need and you can help because you can, you must!”
‘Giving back and caring, making a difference when you can’ is Dr. Monea’s philosophy in her charity work and through her clinics with locations in Reina and Calgary. She does not agree with bureaucratic red tape, therefore children do not need a referral to take part in the Anna’s Vision program. “Children cannot wait through a backlog of paperwork in order to be able to see,” Dr. Monea explains, “I don’t want to have a child refused eye care when seeing is learning.”
Dr Monea says that 80% of a child’s learning is through vision but unfortunately only 16% of Canadian children have their eyes examined annually.
“Many families, especially the working poor, cannot afford the cost involved in purchasing eyewear,” Dr. Monea says, “I believe every child deserves the chance to see!”
Eye exams and frames are donated to underprivileged children by Dr. Monea’s clinics, Eye Health Centres, and lenses are provided by Essilor Canada. “Essilor has teamed up with us to help children so every child, teen and youn adult can receive excellent quality lenses!” says Dr. Monea.
With so many homeless and working poor in our province it is essential that a charity such as Anna’s Vision exits to help children and young adults get the eyewear they need to be able to function properly in school. Anna’s Vision accepts monetary donations to help cover some of the costs associated with the frames so if you would like to donate or if you are a family in need please contact Dr. Monea directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or see her advertisement in our business directory for more information.