EMILY KONCZAL, 11 YEARS OF VOLUNTEERING WITH ONESIGHT
WHY DO YOU VOLUNTEER YOUR TIME WITH ONESIGHT?
When I first started working for LensCrafters, I was introduced to OneSight. I started out by getting involved in our local regional clinics in Chicago and I was hooked. I was able to provide vision care to Chicago public school students. Seeing the need right here in my home area and the area in which I went to optometry school was so eye-opening. Those Chicago clinics will always hold a special place in my heart. It is so rewarding to make a difference in a child’s life. Without proper vision, children are not able to learn and have a chance to excel in their education. Volunteering with OneSight is my passion and it is a huge part of my life now. It’s in my soul. I’m so thankful to be a part of the OneSight family.
IN WHAT WAYS HAVE YOU BEEN ABLE TO GET INVOLVED WITH ONESIGHT?
I’ve been actively involved in OneSight in many ways. As a doctor, I provide OneSight exams in my store through the voucher program and also volunteer on World Sight Day to provide free vision care. I’ve volunteered on OneSight vision vans in my area and have been on 13 total OneSight clinics in the United States, Nicaragua, Mexico, and Africa. I also volunteered in my free time last fall in Kansas City for a few days during a regional clinic. What I love is that you don’t have to go to a clinic to be involved – there are so many ways to be a part of OneSight.
WHAT HAS YOUR VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCE WITH ONESIGHT TAUGHT YOU?
My volunteer experience has taught me to be a better person. It has shaped my life in and out of work. My experiences on clinics have taught me to work harder and have helped grow my leadership skills. I’ve been able to have more confidence in myself and have become a leader – something I’ve never really seen in myself. I started as a lead doctor while on a OneSight clinic and then drawing off of that, I became a managing doctor at LensCrafters. I’ve learned so much about Luxottica through working on clinics with other employees. This has helped shape my work life, too. I have some very good OneSight friends that work in different areas of Luxottica that I go to for work advice or guidance. One, in particular, has helped mentor me over the last few years and has truly helped me excel in my career. I’m thankful to have had the opportunity to work on clinics with so many great people.
WHAT IS ONE OF YOUR MOST MEMORABLE ONESIGHT MOMENTS?
On every clinic, you have what we OneSight alumni call a “clinic moment.” There is always this one patient you make a special connection with. You truly feel the impact OneSight has made in their life. You feel the impact you made as part of a team. In October, I drove to Kansas City to volunteer for a few days at the OneSight clinic. While there, I met a little boy who was a returning patient. He was with his teacher and very nervous even though he was familiar with the process. Last year, this little boy received glasses for the first time. He was very nearsighted and could previously only see things within 2 feet of his face. The teacher told me about the huge difference the glasses made in his life over the past year. He wasn’t talking much before he received his glasses and he didn’t interact with any other kids. Now, he is talking and starting to let people in. The teacher said he’s been coming out of his shell.
At this clinic, he was very nervous when I asked if I could look at his eyes, as he clenched a little stuffed toy cat he called CatCat. I asked him if I can look at CatCat’s eyes first. He lifted up the toy, let me check its eyes and then I examined the little boy. My teammates made CatCat go through the entire clinic process with him and even made CatCat glasses out of duct tape. Hearing from the teacher and seeing the difference a pair of glasses made in this 6-year-old boy’s life were so rewarding. I always tell colleagues who apply for a OneSight clinic that it’s not about the place you go, it’s about the people who you are going to help and the teammates you’ll work with.
Want to hear more from OneSight’s volunteer doctors? Read our latest blog on Dr. Kristen Reed’s experience.