Teens Get Second Chance To See
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. – Two teenagers are seeing things much more clearly these days, thanks to help from 2nd Chance Kids and The Salvation Army.
Matthew, 13, and Amy, 16, are regular members of the San Bernardino Corps of The Salvation Army’s youth programs. Both of them also struggle with poor vision.
Matthew, who will soon enter seventh grade, had never worn glasses before and was straining to read anything not inches in front of him. For him, even reading what his teacher wrote on the board was difficult.
“I would sit near the front and squint,” Matthew said. “When Kelly (Salvation Army Corps Assistant Kelly Raabe) told me they had found a way for me to get new glasses, I was so excited.”
“Both of them needed glasses, but their families could not afford them,” said Corps Officer Capt. Stephen Ball. “When 2nd Chance Kids learned about this, it paid for each of them to receive an optometrist’s exam and a new pair of glasses.”
Matthew’s mother, Dodie, agrees.
“When I found out 2nd Chance For Kids wanted to do this, I cried,” she said. “It has been so hard for me to get health care for us, let alone glasses for Matthew.”
Amy has worn glasses since she was 5, but had been wearing the same pair for the last three years. She will soon be a junior at Arroyo Valley High School.
“These new lenses help me a lot,” she said. “My old ones were scratched, and these are 20/600 instead of 20/500.”
In late April, Jimmy McDougald, founder of 2nd Chance Kids, and John Lops, president of the organization, had contacted Capt. Ball. 2nd Chance Kids is a newly formed non-profit organization that provides for the medical needs of at-risk children ages 3-17.
“2nd Chance Kids has a heart for children,” McDougald said. “We want to help those who are in the most need of help.”
“When they told me about the services his organization could offer, I immediately thought of Matthew,” Capt. Ball said. “We then began looking at other children, and realized Amy also needed this kind of help.”
There may be other children and teens who will receive glasses or other health care equipment from Second Chance Kids as well, according to Capt. Ball. Second Chance Kids intends to work with The Salvation Army to help the children who have medical needs in the areas of vision, hearing, asthma and diabetes.
The Salvation Army provided transportation for both teens to their eye exams, and to pick up the glasses when they were ready.
Matthew received his new glasses in mid-May, a few weeks before finishing sixth grade at Jones Elementary School in San Bernardino. Amy received her new glasses on June 3.
For more information about the Salvation Army, call (909) 888-1336.
About the Salvation Army San Bernardino Corps
The Salvation Army may be able to provide emergency services including food; lodging for homeless or displaced families; clothing and furniture; assistance with rent or mortgage and transportation when funds are available. The Salvation Army Team Radio Network assists rescue workers and evacuees in such disasters as fires.
The Salvation Army is an evangelical part of the Universal Christian Church, and also offers evangelical programs for boys, girls and adults. One of the largest charitable and international service organizations in the world, The Salvation Army has been in existence since 1865 and in San Bernardino since 1887, supporting those in need without discrimination. Donations may always be made online at www.salvationarmyusa.org or by calling (909) 888-1336.