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Seeing Clearly

Longtime supporters Mary Lou and Leo Hundt of Naples, Florida, help provide eyeglasses for children and young adults across the NPH homes.

A girl doing homeworkReported by Amanda Thomas
Communications Officer, NPH Honduras

April 27, 2016

As I entered the clinic Israel* was proudly wearing his new glasses. Another donation of eyeglasses had arrived, and this time complete with homemade carrying bags.

Many of our children have vision problems that range from the minor to the significant issues. If these go undetected, a child can struggle at school, as well as suffer from headaches and tiredness. Over the last year, volunteer nurse Megan has been testing the vision of all our children with an auto refractor machine that was donated by a visiting group of opthamologists in 2012. Although the auto refractor doesn’t constitute a full eye exam, it can detect vision impediments and conclude what prescription glasses a child needs.

Once the prescriptions are determined, what happens next is “like magic,” says Megan. “I send off the list of needed prescriptions to the United States, and then when visitors come they inevitably have the required eyeglasses in their luggage.”

Behind the scenes working their magic are Mary Lou and Leo Hundt, long time supporters of NPH. Mary Lou and Leo volunteered at NPH Mexico in 1997 and 1998. They were the “house parents” of the chicos section that was made up of boys in first and second grade. Many of these young boys graduated university last year with their beloved godparents the Hundts alongside them. The Hundts have been exceptionally generous supporters of NPH with support ranging from sponsoring graduations to the construction of new school classrooms. They currently have 10 godchildren across NPH’s homes: four in Honduras, three in El Salvador, two in Mexico and one in Haiti. “We try to visit three homes each year,” says Mary Lou. One of the Hundt’s biggest ongoing contributions is providing eyeglasses for children and young adults across the NPH homes.

The Hundts are quick to deflect praise for the glasses. “We do not want to take credit for the eye glasses, as it takes lots of folks to get this done,” says Mary Lou. It is clear that the Hundts are the driving force behind improving the vision of our children. “We have made 175 pairs of eye glasses for the children and young adults in Honduras,” says Mary Lou. “All of the frames are brand new and have been donated by different companies. We pay for the lenses and then we all help to grind and put the eye glasses together.”

The Hundts have amassed a group of supporters who help them with the glasses, and who have even traveled to the homes to carry out vision tests. “We are very fortunate to work with wonderful people here in Naples, Florida,” Mary Lou says. “When you grind the lenses for the glasses it is hard work. The folks at Van Buskirk’s Opticians are always willing to help. Whenever I contact anyone to take eye glasses back to one of the homes they have always stepped forward.”

Despite their humble words, the Hundts are impressive supporters of NPH. For Mary Lou, her motivation is simple, “Our hearts will always be with the children at the NPH homes.”

*Name changed for privacy purposes.

Related Information:
NPH Healthcare Program (PDF)
How Your Help Makes an Impact at NPH

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Photo above: A girl doing homework at NPH Honduras
Photos below: Mary Lou and Leo Hundt are longtime supporters of NPH; Israel* getting an eye exam, and with his new pair of glasses