12/07/2007

WVU Eye Institute Requests Donations for Children

Sunglasses and books needed for children of Saint Lucia Island

Vision experts from the West Virginia University Eye Institute are traveling to Saint Lucia Island in the Caribbean soon to treat children with vision problems.  In addition to providing needed medical care, they also want to deliver sunglasses and books to children when they go in January 2008. 

“Material objects are not the rule but the exception on this poverty stricken island,” said Becky Coakley, director of the Children’s Vision Rehabilitation Project at the WVU Eye Institute.   “When the children are provided with something besides the basics of food and clothing, their faces light up. Most schools do not have playground equipment and books and educational materials are typically shared.” 

WVU faculty made the first service trip to Saint Lucia in 2003, and a group has returned to the island every year since. 

The Saint Lucia program is organized through the WVU Eye Institute’s Children’s Vision Rehabilitation Project.  This project provides rehabilitation services to children in communities throughout West Virginia, in addition to the special international program with the Saint Lucia Blind Welfare Association. 

Paperback books, children’s sunglasses or monetary donations may be dropped off between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, at the WVU Eye Institute, next to the Physician Office Center on the WVU Health Sciences Campus.  Donations will be accepted until December 21, 2007. 

For more information, visit http://www.hsc.wvu.edu/som/eye/childVisionRehab.asp.

- WVU -


07-279
For more information:
Emily Corio, HSC News Service, (304) 293-7087
corioe@wvuh.com
ec: 11-26-07

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