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Cash-strapped Optometry Students Give Back in a Big Way
Date:2/13/2009

oin practicing optometrists and other health care professionals to perform eye/health examinations on an expected 4,000 patients over four days of clinic. The students will not be working in ideal conditions or have state-of-the-art technology available to them. In fact, Crist says that in the past, they have had to use black trash bags to cover up the windows in order to provide more appropriate lighting to conduct the exams. Prior to the mission, students gathered gently used or new glasses, checked and labeled the prescription powers, and prepared the glasses for distribution to patients in Honduras.

"One of our key principles is to extend the role of the Illinois College of Optometry through community service," said Illinois College of Optometry President Arol Augsburger, O.D. "I am proud to see our student volunteers bring much needed eye care to people in need here in the Chicagoland community, as well as around the world."

Typically, students become a member of SVOSH their first year and work toward a mission, which they can go on during their third professional year. From fundraising to personal appeals to family and friends, students do what they can to raise the necessary funds to participate in a mission trip. The cost per student can range from $1,000 to $3,500 depending on the location. Students who complete 40 service hours for ICO-SVOSH prior to their trip will receive $500 from The Jenzabar Foundation grant to offset their expenses. The grant will impact mission trips for both the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 academic years, making it possible for more students to volunteer and provide service to thousands of people in need.

"The Jenzabar Foundation recognizes and supports the good works and humanitarian efforts serving others across the global community," said Robert A. Maginn, Chairman of the
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