Volunteer's Lasting Impact on Mid-Missouri Children

Roma Wonneman is an avid volunteer with her Columbia Lions Club, especially in areas related to sight. Roma and her Club often volunteer to clean eyeglasses with Saving Sight’s Eyeglass Recycling Program. It was there she first learned about KidSight and fell in love with the program.

One evening when Roma and her Club were cleaning recycled glasses at Saving Sight, she noticed a signup sheet asking for a volunteer to help with a KidSight screening. “I went and it was so much fun and the technology just blew me away. I had no idea honestly and I was hooked,” said Roma.

Roma started volunteering with KidSight as a Volunteer Screening Assistant in June of 2015. She has participated in over 130 screenings since that time and has helped screen over 5,500 children. By potentially saving the vision of these children, Roma has helped these families lessen medical burdens later in life and help children get the eye care they need to succeed in school.

Roma understands firsthand the educational challenges that can come with poor vision. “That’s one of the reasons I think I was so encouraged to get involved. Our great-grandson is legally blind. He’s 5 years old and he’s awesome!” said Roma. “He does have some vision but part of the reason I’m so passionate about it is I’m doing it to honor him.”

Roma's volunteerism allows KidSight to provide services to a segment of children in the community who might not otherwise be screened at a daycare or preschool, such as home-schooled children and children with stay-at-home caregivers. When she volunteers her time at the library and at Parents as Teachers offices, Roma provides open-to-the-public services for any parent.

For Roma, offering her time and smile at screenings is very fulfilling. “The most rewarding thing about volunteering is knowing that I’m making a difference and that knowing that I’m making a difference and giving back makes me feel good,” said Roma.