Free eye exams, children’s glasses at Hillsborough Tax Collector’s offices in June

The Hillsborough County Tax Collector’s Office, Lion’s Eye Institute and Glazer Vision Foundation have partnered on a new program providing children with free eye exams and glasses at county tax collector’s offices in June.

Hillsborough County Tax Collector Nancy Milan said the initiative stemmed from a meeting and conversation she had with Lion’s Eye President and CEO Jason Woody during of a meeting of the Ybor City Chamber of Commerce. Milan says she saw similarities with Donate Life, a nonprofit dedicated to increasing organ and tissue donation that her office partners with, and wanted to give Lion’s Eye access to offices of his agency to help promote their mission.

From there, Lion’s Eye introduced the Glazer Vision Foundation and its mobile vision clinic.

Debra Bellanti, director of communications and outreach for the Hillsborough County Tax Collector’s Office, said that with the mobile clinic, children will be able to come in and get an eye exam and a pair of glasses within hours. .

“They make them right there in the truck,” Bellanti says of the glasses.

The goal is to serve 30 children at each location through a combination of appointment and walk-in visits. The need is great. A press release on the program estimates that 80% of visual impairment problems can be corrected or cured, but one in five children cannot afford eye care.

This partnership builds on the efforts of the Office of the Tax Collector to open its offices throughout the county to charitable causes. Each July, the office partners with the Hillsborough Education Foundation for its annual school supply drive.

The program is open to children aged 5 to 17. At each Collector’s Office location that the Mobile Vision Clinic will visit, they will be on site from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Here is the remaining schedule for free eye exams and glasses:

-June 16 East Tampa, 2814 E Hillsborough Ave.
-June 17 North Tampa, 3011 University Center Drive.
-June 23 Plant City, 4706 Sydney Road.
-June 24 Southshore, 406 30th St. SE in Ruskin.

For more information and to register, go to Glazer Vision Foundation/Lion’s Eye Institute.

Esther L. Steinbach