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American volunteers host pop-up optometric clinic in Mexican village of San Blas

COURTESY PHOTO - Several optometrists accompany volunteers to San Blas village to provide eye exams. For the seventh consecutive year, local Lions Club members, accompanied by volunteers from around the country, spent the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving giving back in the small fishing village of San Blas, in the Mexican state of Nayarit.

More than 40 volunteers traveled south of the border from Nov. 6-11, to provide a temporary vision clinic for those without regular optometric services.

COURTESY PHOTO - More than 44 volunteers traveled from Nov. 6-11, to host a clinic for blind and visually impaired in Mexico. More than 2,100 adults and children received eye exams and eyeglasses through the clinic. The Oral Hull Foundation for the Blind provided more than 30 white canes, cane tips, magnifiers and other equipment, while also training people with blindness or low vision on best practices for white cane use.

"While our mission is to provide educational classes, social events and recreation for those with sight loss locally, we are especially pleased to be able to extend our mission to those in developing countries," said Sharon Elder, executive director of the Hull Foundation.

COURTESY PHOTO - The Oral Hull Foundation for the Blind provided more than 30 white canes, cane tips, magnifiers and other equipment, for those with visual impairments. All costs for the clinic are paid by volunteers, who travel with the doctors or through donations earmarked for this journey.

"We do not use locally donated or general operation funds to purchase the white canes or fund any portion of the trip," Elder explained. "Losing your sight can be an enormous adjustment, or by contacting the Hull Foundation, sight loss can be a life-changing challenge with positive results to lead the life you choose."

The Oral Hull Foundation can be reached at 503-668-6195 or at www.hullparkfortheblind.org.


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