Kids Vision for Life St. Louis is a volunteer-driven program. Our volunteers assist with screening days at over 150 elementary and middle schools in the St. Louis area. To date, KVFL volunteers have helped screen over 31,000 students in the 2016-17 school year.
This week’s Volunteer Spotlight focuses on Pat. We’ll learn more about her volunteer role within KVFL and her extensive background in optometry.
Tell us more about yourself.
I’ve been married to my sweet (and patient) husband, Stan, for 44 years. We have a daughter, son, and five teenage grandchildren, whom we adore!
How did you find out about KVFL and what about our program made you want to volunteer?
My career was in optometry- working in private practice as a para-optometric for 34 years. Upon retiring in 2015, I was able to spend more time with my 94 year-old mom, and help care for an elderly friend of 60 years, as she has no family in St. Louis. Between this, Zumba, and rocking babies at a local daycare, I still felt something was missing…of course it was my beloved patients and optometry! So, I searched for volunteer work in vision care Voila!! I luckily came across Kids Vision for Life…and knew it was the perfect fit!
I feel so blessed to have found such a wonderful collection of men and women who share the same dedication as I do, to vision care. Over 20 years ago, many of us in optometry lobbied, and pleaded with our state representatives and senators to make vision exams mandatory before starting school. I feel I’ve come full circle!
Why do you like volunteering with KVFL?
Every vision screening has been a joy for me. As you’ve probably realized, this is my passion! One of my favorite memories was a second grader with glasses, and special needs. Her language skills were a bit challenged, so I got to spend some extra time with her. Whenever she got a letter correctly, she would squeal and light up! As a high hyperope, this was very challenging for her, and by the time she finished, we were all cheering for her! I was rewarded with the best hug ever!! This is why I love volunteering for KVFL- the rewards are a thousand-fold! I am truly the lucky one!