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Von's Vision partners up with The REACH Project, proving Aggies help Aggies

Posted at 4:49 PM, Jul 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-23 19:26:19-04

COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS  — If you've been in College Station long enough, you know there's a common theme... Aggies help Aggies.

The REACH project saw a gap in accessibility for affordable eye care within their Aggie service families and wanted to partner with Von's Vision to help fill it.

Forty children of the REACH Project's 'Essential Aggies' received a free exam Friday and if needed, a new pair of glasses too.

"I like the color of them... I like the way they make me feel. I think they make me feel good," Gabrielle Johnson shared with 25 News.

For Dulce Sanchez, a new pair of glasses will give her the freedom to choose where she wants to sit within her classrooms this upcoming school year.

"....not having to sit in the front of the class," Sanchez added.

"We knew that one of the most important things that a child can have is the confidence and sight and to be able to go into a classroom and not have to worry about not being able to see or being embarrassed by having to move around to the front or ask questions for special help," Max Gerall, The REACH Project's Founder said.

The non-profit reached out to Von's Vision, an organization 'Giving Kids the Gift of Sight' and they made it happen Friday for children of REACH families ages 5-17.

"Once we got that door open...they heard the story. It was a done deal right there. It was pretty amazing," Gerall added.

"I brought in both of my kids for glasses.. for back to school because I know they need them," Zuniga, Dulce's Mother added.

Zuniga is an 'Essential Aggie' and works in dining services on campus and is happy to see Aggies, like Von Miller, helping Aggies.

"It sets a good example.. It's really great," Zuniga said. "I just want to thank Von for this opportunity. I love it."

Using A&M resources to serve the entire A&M community, Gerall says will leave a long-lasting impact for families who need them.

"To have a leader of that A&M community... an Aggie champion comes out and really exemplifies what that means is truly awesome. It's humbling to see someone so successful willing to give back to a place where he came from and to those who really need it the most like the essential employees on campus," Gerall added. "It's truly inspiring something we hope will continue to grow and build momentum so Aggies everywhere will take the initiative to take it upon themselves to give back and support, maybe not just the essential Aggies, but people in their community because that's really how we can have the biggest impact is right here in our own communities."

Student Health Services hosts Von's Vision at Texas A&M and normally serves eligible Texas A&M students.

So far, Von's Vision has helped nearly 400 eligible students on the Aggie campus with eye care.

Friday's event was an exception, as they partnered with the REACH project and served children 5-17.