WACO, Texas (KWTX) A local teenager in a quest to fulfill requirements to become an Eagle Scout just returned from Haiti where he was able to provide hundreds of eyeglasses to those who haven’t been able to see in years.
Cameron Faulkenberry in Haiti. (Courtesy photo)
“It was a great feeling and a great experience because these people there, we went to some very, very poor communities,” Cameron Faulkenberry said.
“I mean we saw over 800 people who had never had their eyes tested before and we gave away over 400 glasses to people who had never had a chance to have glasses.”
Cameron said the idea came about when he decided he wanted to do something unusual for his Eagle Scout project.
“When I first started coming up with an idea for my Eagle Scout project I wanted to do something that would stretch myself, something different from what normal Boy Scouts do,” he said.
So the teen set his eyes on helping better the vision of hundreds of poor and underserved people in Haiti.
He then reached out to an ophthalmologist in Georgia who told him he could help, but instead of the proposed February date, he only had availability a few weeks later.
“In three weeks I had to raise $7,000 for my trip,” Faulkenberry said.
“So I went to my church and spoke to a few Bible studies and within two weeks I had met my goal.”
On Nov. 4, Cameron and a team of 7 loaded up and headed to Haiti for a week-long trip where they administered eye exams and passed out glasses to hundreds of people, many who hadn’t been able to see well in decades.
“They were prescription lenses and we also brought readers there so for people who couldn’t see very far away and people who couldn’t see very close, who couldn't really read.”
In addition to the glasses, the group also brought along school supplies for kids.
Cameron said the entire experience is one he will never forget.
“This opportunity has made it where I have grown a lot in my own personal life. I have had the opportunity to do something that is extraordinary and a rare thing to be able to do.”
“It's given me purpose.”