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This is Fred Ball for Zions Bank, speaking in business.
While some doctors travel to foreign countries to provide humanitarian care to the underprivileged, a group of Utah doctors is doing the same thing right here in Utah. Eye Care For Kids Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides vision screenings, eye exams and eyeglasses to low-income level families, was founded four years ago. Located in Salt Lake City, Eye Care For Kids has provided vision services to more than 3,000 Utahns in need.
Joseph Carbone, an optician at the clinic and one of the founders of the organization, tells me there are more than 9,000 children annually in Utah who need vision services but cannot afford them. Organizations throughout the state, including school districts, other non-profits and religious institutions frequently refer people to the clinic. The doctors work long hours and provide their expertise for free; in fact, they still have private practices and often come to the clinic during off hours to make glasses.
Eye Care For Kids has more than 500 eyeglass frames from which kids can choose, and Joseph tells me the eye clinic is set up like any other eye doctor's office. The hard cost for performing eye tests and receiving eyeglasses is $25. Joseph tells me patients are encouraged to pay the $25 if they can, but funding is available for those who cannot afford the services. Joseph says there is nothing better than knowing you and your colleagues helped someone in need.
Eye Care For Kids has four licensed doctors on board, as well as a dozen other volunteers. The doctors plan to expand the organization to include the Eye Care For Kids Mobile Unit, a converted mobile home with all the equipment needed to help low-income families in rural areas of the state. Joseph tells me the mobile unit will eventually travel to Native American reservations across the United States.
For Zions Bank, I'm Fred Ball. I'm speaking on business.