In 2011, Children Incorporated was gifted $10,000 by Deep Run High School in Richmond, Virginia as a beneficiary of the school’s Deep Run Marathon Dance. In an effort to help children in Richmond with vision issues, the contribution was used for a large-scale vision clinic held in October 2011 at the Arthur Ashe, Jr. Athletic Center in partnership with OneSight, Richmond City Public Schools, the Rudi Johnson Foundation, the James Farrior Foundation, and Art on Wheels.

“She had often complained of headaches. With her new glasses, however, she is able to concentrate for longer periods of time, and she no longer gets headaches.”

It was announced in early 2018 that after many years, Deep Run High School is retiring the Marathon Dance fundraiser; but the memory of what our organization was able to do, thanks to that donation, will last a lifetime for us and for the children who benefited from it.

Eye chart art

During the vision clinic, funds donated to Children Incorporated helped not only with the cost of providing eye exams for kids, but also with costs associated with a therapeutic, hands-on “eye chart art” project with partnering organization Art on Wheels. As the children rotated through the eye exam stations, they were asked how they “saw” themselves in the past, present, and future. Then, during the wait for their glasses, the children made ‘eye chart collages,’ which were all digitally photographed.

When the clinic was over, the children took their original collages home. The digital photos were judged by Art on Wheels staff members; 25 pieces were awarded special mentions, and they were printed and mounted. At the end of the month, the 25 pieces were installed at a local art gallery, where a screen displayed rotating images of all participant’s art.

Improvements in academic performance

At the vision clinic, 654 Richmond children received comprehensive eye exams. For many, this was the first time their eyes had ever been thoroughly examined by an eye doctor. Of these kids, 463 needed eyeglasses. Additionally, six children received referrals to pediatric ophthalmologists due to the discovery of serious eye conditions.

After the clinic, a survey was sent to each of the children’s teachers. Their feedback included comments such as, “Because she is seeing the board so much better, she no longer has to sit extremely close to it. There has been an improvement in her academic performance.”

“His writing scores on his bi-weekly tests have improved.”

“She had often complained of headaches. With her new glasses, however, she is able to concentrate for longer periods of time, and she no longer gets headaches.”

We can’t thank amazing students and administrators like those at Deep Run High School enough for making it possible for us to help so many children who were in need of eye exams, glasses, and referrals. These incredible people helped to offer better vision and a better future for so many of our sponsored and unsponsored children.



You can sponsor a child in Richmond, Virginia in one of two ways: call our office at 1-800-538-5381 and speak with one of our staff members, or email us at


written by Shelley Callahan

Shelley is the Director of Development for Children Incorporated. She is also the lead social correspondent, regularly contributing insights through the Stories of Hope blog series. Sign up for Stories of Hope to receive weekly email updates about how your donations are changing the lives of children in need.

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