When was the last time you thought about your ability to see the world around you? Probably not in a while. I know I rarely do. I’m fortunate enough to be able to see to drive, work, and watch my children grow. However, I have been thinking about it a lot more these days. I’m currently organizing the 28th Annual Lookin’ Good Shamrock Strut. This is a (very!) fun run that the Houston Eye Associates Foundation (HEAF) holds yearly to raise funds for the amazing, life-changing work they do.
This year, the Shamrock Strut takes place on Saturday, March 16. The route begins at the Houston Eye Associates building located at 2855 Gramercy Street. The event features a competitive 5K and 10K run, a non-competitive 5K and 10K walk, and a non-competitive 1K run for kiddos 12 and under. All Kids K finishers receive a medal and goody bag. The Kids K will begin at 7:45am and the 5K and 10K events will start at 8:00am.
Following the race, it’s party time! There will be plenty of family-friendly activities happening at the Post Race Party including face painting, moonwalks, balloon artists, vendor games, door prizes, hula-hoops stations, a St. Patty’s Day costume contest (with Irish-inspired prizes up for grabs), and a cool arts and crafts station where kids can create their own unique sunglasses! Complimentary food and drinks will be provided from Chick-Fil-A, Fiesta Mart, Kolache Factory, My Fit Foods, and Coca Cola. Additionally, 104.1 KRBE will be on site spinning tunes. Many more vendors (ADIDAS, Luke’s Locker, BBVA Compass, and Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Indoor Water Park just to name a few!) will be handing out awesome goodies to everyone who comes out in support of HEAF! With all of this excitement just around the corner, keep up with late-breaking details via the Lookin’ Good Shamrock Strut Facebook and Twitter pages.
So what does the Houston Eye Associates Foundation do, you ask? Here’s a little more information about them:
- HEAF is a non-profit organization that provides services and surgeries for those needing financial assistance to improve their vision. Other vision-focused nonprofit organizations do amazing work, but are often only able to provide eye exams and glasses. If a patient’s vision problems require more, that patient is usually unable to be helped further.
- Thanks to the generous contributions made by HEAF supporters via private donations and fundraisers like the Lookin’ Good Shamrock Strut, HEAF is able to pay for those services that others are often not able to provide. Hospital or surgery facilities fees, vision-saving medications, medically necessary lenses, eye glasses, cornea tissue, laboratory services, prosthetics, and other ancillary services are all available at no cost to patients who would otherwise be, quite literally, left in the dark.
- As the Foundation’s executive director, Claudia McCabe, explained to me, HEAF is considered a last resort for most patients. The people who receive assistance are often described as the “working poor”: those who aren’t eligible for Medicaid because they make too much (“too much” being approximately $22,000/year) yet they aren’t able to afford health insurance on their own nor is it provided by their employer. Normally, these folks would simply fall through the cracks and their vision would continue to deteriorate.
After learning more about all of this, I’m so thankful both for my vision and for the work HEAF does in our community. If you feel the same way, please join us on March 16 at the Lookin’ Good Shamrock Strut. To further your support of HEAF and the wonderful work it does for the community, consider donating directly to the Foundation. Just a little bit from everyone can make a huge impact!