Free eye care in Far Rockaway

By Steve Mosco

Local residents who have lost or damaged their eyeglasses during Superstorm Sandy are invited to receive free eye care and glasses on board two fully-stocked, 40-foot long, state-of-the-art mobile eye care clinics, through relief efforts provided by VSP Vision Care, a not-for-profit vision benefits company.

The eye care clinic arrived at FEMA Assistance Center at 10-01 Beach 20th St. in Far Rockaway on Tuesday and will remain there to assist residents until Saturday. The clinic will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., except on Thanksgiving Day when it will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Each mobile clinic is outfitted with exam rooms, an eyeglass frame dispensary and a finishing lab allowing glasses to be made on-site. No appointments are necessary and services will be provided on a first-come, first-serve basis.

In order to be eligible for eye care in the mobile clinic, applicants need to have lost or damaged their eyeglasses in the storm and have a social security number.

Anyone unable to visit the mobile clinics or who are unable to be seen onboard the mobile clinic due to limited availability may contact their local American Red Cross chapter or shelter to receive a VSP gift certificate redeemable for free eye care services. VSP members who need eye care or replacement glasses can receive them by calling 800-877-7195 for an authorization.

Local VSP optometrists whose offices have been closed due to Superstorm Sandy will provide the services. Efforts are underway to establish additional satellite vision clinics hosted by VSP in other affected areas, with more details to follow. The mobile clinics will continue to host outreach in various communities impacted by Superstorm Sandy during the upcoming weeks.

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