The UMKC Pre-Optometry Society collected 56 pairs of glasses and 39 cases in their first-ever donation drive. The glasses and cases will be donated to Kansas City Free Eye Clinic, an organization that provides eye exams and vision care for low-income people in the community.
The organization planned the drive after meeting with KC Free Eye Clinic executive director and UMKC alumnus Birju Solanki in October. The Pre-Optometry Society is not affiliated with the KC Free Eye Clinic, but many members volunteer there. In 2017, the clinic examined 207 patients and prescribed 172 pairs of eyeglasses.
Members collected glasses on campus through winter break. The group’s president, Alisha Musau, and biology faculty member Tammy Welchert organized the drive, and members collected glasses on campus through winter break.
Going forward, the glasses will be refitted, if necessary, and distributed to those in need.
Musau said the Pre-Optometry Society hopes to find more opportunities to be involved in the community. They plan on volunteering for the Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired at their annual Trolley Run this Spring.