“I would be blind today if it weren’t for that eye exam,” said Williams. “I’m grateful that I can still see. But for those who don’t have the money or insurance to have their eyes checked, they could easily lose their sight.”
And so last June, Williams founded Sight for Seniors, a program organized under his nonprofit corporation Christian Mandate, Inc. and dedicated to helping seniors who can’t afford an eye exam and corrective lenses.
Working with local optometrists, Sight for Seniors is offered to East County seniors 65 and over with an annual income of less than $28,000 who don’t belong to an HMO or receive veterans benefits.
A typical routine eye exam can cost around $170, said Williams, not including a new prescription and glasses. But through the Sight for Seniors program, those who qualify can receive all those services for free.
“There are a lot of seniors out there who just don’t have the money to pay for eye care, and they’re living with poor vision as a result,” said Williams, CEO of the program. “Eye exams are a health issue; they’re a good way to check for other health-related problems such as diabetes and macular degeneration. I know firsthand the importance of proper eye care.”
The Sight for Seniors program is funded by local, private and corporate donations, and in November, Williams will be participating in the group’s first fundraising event with a booth at the Healthy Families Expo on Nov. 13 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 3101 Balfour Road (corner of Fairview Avenue and Balfour Road) in Brentwood. Williams plans to provide an optometrist to give free eye exams and answer questions about the program. Visitors are also welcome to donate to the program.
But the primary purpose for participating in the event, said Williams, is to let people know about the program and what it offers: “We’re just looking for folks who can’t afford their eye care, or who have outdated prescriptions and broken frames. It’s really a safety issue, and we want people to know that we are here and that we can help.”
For more information on the Sight for Seniors program, the Healthy Families Expo or to make a donation, call Williams at 925-250-1940 or visit www.thechristianmandate.org.