Disaster fund ready to assist ODs affected by Hurricane Sandy

November 13, 2012

New Jersey developmental optometrist Leonard Press, O.D., snapped a shot of what he now refers to as the “Board-unwalk.”

In the aftermath of the devastation from Hurricane Sandy along the East Coast, Optometry’s Fund for Disaster Relief, administered by Optometry Cares®-the AOA Foundation, is ready to assist optometrists whose practices and/or homes were damaged.

The AOA has received several reports from optometrists who sustained damage from the superstorm and expects the number to rise.

“We have a residence in Point Pleasant Beach, and as of today, the police are still not allowing residents to return,” Leonard Press, O.D., noted Oct. 31, two days after the hurricane hit. “So we have no idea yet of the extent of damage to our home. Thankfully, our office in Fair Lawn, New Jersey, in Bergen County, was spared any damage.”

“Even though my office retained power, it was one of the few that did,” Dr. Press continued. “So in deference to the staff and patients, we were closed Monday and Tuesday. Many areas around us do not have power, and we were told not to expect the power back in our apartment for at least a week. I admire my staff for their determination in getting back to work and helping our patients. We are seeing patients today with a curtailed schedule. Some patients just welcome the opportunity to get out of the house and into full lighting and warmth and Wi-Fi access. Sandy has been slow to depart, so the skies are still overcast, adding to the gloomy feeling. There are long lines for the few food establishments that are open, and gas lines that remind me of 1973. Since many houses are running electricity on generators, the few stations that have gas left have lines as much as a mile long to get in.”

Dr. Press also expressed the resilience of those affected by the hurricane.

“But as Governor Christie says, yesterday was a time to grieve and today is a time of resolve in rolling up our sleeves, helping others, and doing what makes this state and country great during challenging circumstances. We very much appreciate the offers of assistance from around the country and the world,” he said.

Other affected optometrists may contact their state association or Optometry Cares® at www.optometryscharity.org/ofdr or 800-365-2219 directly to initiate financial assistance.

How You Can Help

To ensure funds are available for all who need assistance, AOA members are encouraged to make a donation to Optometry’s Fund for Disaster Relief.

Contributions are deductible to the fullest extent of the law, as no goods or services are furnished by the Optometry Cares® – The AOA Foundation, a 501(c) (3) organization, in exchange for the gift to Optometry’s Fund for Disaster Relief.

To contribute, simply mail a check to Optometry’s Fund for Disaster Relief, 243 N. Lindbergh Blvd., First Floor, St. Louis, MO 63141 or make a donation online at www.optometryscharity.org/ofdr.

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