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School-Age Kids Get Free Eye Exams and Glasses

More than 150 kids and teens got the gift of better vision Sunday thanks to the Eyeglass Factory and Dr. Mast’s office on Milpas Street in Santa Barbara.

Rick Feldman is the owner of the Eyeglass Factory.

“Amazingly, about 90 percent of the kids that we see need glasses and haven’t had access to eye care,” Feldman said.

“I’m just grateful for being able to come down and get these glasses today. I don’t have money for that and it’s really going to help us out,” said Cynthia Galindo of Santa Barbara.

The free eye exams were provided by Dr. Mast’s office located next door to the Eyeglass Factory.

Then kids got to pick out a free pair of glasses at the Eyeglass Factory.

“We go top shelf because if the kids don’t feel good about the way they look, they are not going to wear the glasses,” Feldman said.

Feldman said if kids can’t see, they can’t achieve in school.

“The last thing we tell them is that we know you are probably going to break them. It’s important to us you achieve your full potential in school. If you break them or you lose them, come on back and get another pair,” Feldman said.

Feldman said the Eyeglass Factory is committed to helping improve the vision of school-age kids year-round.

“This isn’t a one-day program. It goes on all year-round. We’ve built a coalition of nonprofits in town who screen people for need, especially kids. If there is a need for care, they’ll get them an eye exam, get them to a doctor,” Feldman said.

Besides the free eye exams and glasses, there were also free dental and health screening services.

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