Shortly before 1999 we had a young deaf man who had become part of our deaf teen group and attended Carlsbad HS. SOS was still in it's infancy but had a strong activities calendar for deaf and asl students to socialize every week. This young man was hard of hearing and came from a single parent home. He was extremely smart and really enjoyed being with his deaf friends and hearing asl students. One of the challenges this young man faced was poor eyesight and wore pretty thick glasses. One of his dreams was to not wear glasses anymore and hopefully get a good job after HS and have a girlfriend and a better life.
One of our other deaf teen boys, a friend and classmate of this young man, decided to rally the other deaf teens and see what they could do to help him. After discussing options they really wanted to help pay for Lasic Surgery and help fulfill this young mans dreams. So they approached SOS and asked for our help to maybe somehow raise the money to pay for Lasic Surgery. The cost was approximately $5000 ($2500 for each eye). A lot of money for deaf teens who didn't have jobs yet.
So they started scheduling mini fundraisers like carwashes, selling See's candies, Hot dog stands in front of Walmart and Target, etc. North County Times was supportive and placed Community News Clips in the newspapers advertising each event for more people to find out and help. Huge success !! Each event people were handing us money left and right and at a few of our car washes they would drop off money and not even get their car washed. The community's heart was touched by this challenge and the courage of our deaf teens and they responded.
The other way we raised money was writing letters to all the Lions Clubs throughout San Diego County and we started getting invited to meetings and introducing this young deaf man and asking for help. Business leaders and businesses throughout SD who were Lions Club Members starting sending in money too. In all we raised the $5000 needed in about 6 months time and then the search was on for a good Lasic Surgery Doctor.
We found one in Santa Monica, the best there was, and after meeting with this young deaf man and hearing his story and what a group of deaf teens did to help him, he reduced the price to $4000 and performed the surgery.
SUCCESS!!! Our deaf friend had 20/15 vision for the first time in his life and no more glasses. Soon after he got the job of his dreams ( a computer repair job) and eventually a girlfriend. Well deserving for such a fine and decent young man.
Grips the heart and really challenges all of us to never give up on our dreams. People have the ability to give and help with the right approach and right message. This is one of many miracles at SOS and there's another miracle waiting to happen...thanks.