Local non-profit celebrating World Sight Day

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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - Thursday is World Sight Day, a day dedicated to recognizing the challenges that those living with blindness or visual impairments deal with every day.

However, it's also a day for spreading awareness about visual health.

In honor of World Sight Day, the Northern Plains Eye Foundation is raising money for their non-profit.

Executive Director Ronda Gusinsky says they provide free vision screenings for children as young as six months old to as old as fifth graders, working to correct children's vision or prevent it from getting worse.

Ronda Gusinsky says, "It's really heartwarming to know that in those little people, we can help make their lives better."

Six-year-old Allie Harrelson wears my Little Pony eyeglasses.

Thanks to the foundation's vision screenings, they detected her vision impairment last year when she was in kindergarten.

Allie Harrelson says, "At church, they kind of help me see the words in the book because they're tiny. And then at school they help me with the board and our verses because I'm in the second row also."

Gusinsky says they also spotted cataracts in pre-school children before.

According to the foundation's website, being blind is one of the third most feared diseases in the world next to cancer and AIDS.

Ronda Gusinsky says, "I think that speaks volumes because we're such a visual society. If you don't have your sight, you just miss so many things. I was talking to a friend that has a flower shop and she was saying oh my gosh. What would life be like if you can't see flowers or you can't see your children or you can't see a sunrise."

The Northern Plains Eye Foundation will provide free vision screenings for children on Thursday, October 11th at 9 A.M. at General Beadle Elementary.