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Saving sight in the Midlands

Central Carolina Community Foundation’s (CCCF) Connected Communities grant initiative seeks to connect residents with their communities by supporting local nonprofits’ community-benefitting projects. In 2023, Lions Vision Services (LVS) was one of the 14 nonprofits to receive a Connected Communities grant for their Envision the Midlands initiative.

Lions Vision Services, a nonprofit based in South Carolina, is dedicated to supporting visually impaired individuals in underserved communities. They offer various services, including vision screenings, eye exams, surgeries, eyeglasses, and hearing aids for those who cannot afford them. Thanks to their efforts, LVS has significantly impacted the lives of thousands of South Carolinians. Envision the Midlands is one of their initiatives to increase access to cutting-edge vision health solutions and preserve sight for those in need. Michael Williams is just one of many individuals who have benefitted from their services.

In 2022, Williams started to suffer from vision loss. Unfortunately, his sight worsened significantly within a year, causing him to become nearly blind and unable to work. Williams was left untreated despite several attempts to seek medical attention. He later discovered LVS and scheduled cataract surgery after a brief consultation.

“I filled out a couple of pieces of paper, and then I was getting the surgery,” Williams explained. “Cataract surgery is not cheap, so I was amazed I could finally get help.”

On April 18, 2023, Williams underwent his initial cataract surgery with Dr. Caleb Story at Eye Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia. Two weeks later, Williams underwent his second surgery. Williams shared that he experienced the sharpest and clearest vision of his life after completing his surgeries. Lions Vision Services covered Williams’ medical and medication expenses through the CCCF Connected Communities grant.

“We thank the Central Carolina Community Foundation for providing these funds,” LVS President and CEO Daniel Prohaska explains. “Lions Vision Services is really the last line of defense for the clients that come to us. There is no comparable program of our breadth and depth in the state to meet these needs.”

The Community Foundation is pleased to support LVS’s Envision the Midlands program. With its grant, the nonprofit intends to continue helping the community and delivering transformative services to those in the region.