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“Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness for people over 60 years old. But blindness from glaucoma can often be prevented with early treatment,” according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

That’s really important to Rocio, a local woman who had been working two jobs as a janitor and dishwasher. Unemployed because of the pandemic, she suffers from this disease and needed timely treatment. She was unable to afford her important six-month eye exam and vital medications.

It was then that she was referred to the Santa Barbara Vision Care Program, a project of SEE International. Rocio is receiving the treatment and medications she needed. She was one of the approximately 260 low-income clients this year that had access to vision care, provided at no charge. 

SEE International received a $60,000 grant from the Woman’s Fund        

in 2020 that allowed them to purchase state-of-the-art equipment to replace old and often broken items in the clinic. The clinic took advantage of the pandemic closure to re-equip the Santa Barbara Vision Clinic, bringing the facility to a new level, ready to tackle their large number of patients with quality care.

Rocio’s situation is a reminder that despite COVID-19, the Women’s Fund is providing critical funding to support the most vulnerable people in our community.

Contributed by Joanne Schoenfeld