Skip to main content

Eyecare

03/19/2013 11:58AM, Published by Kerri Regan, Categories: In Print, Community




DAN’S OPTICAL MAKES GLASSES FOR THE HOMELESS

Story: Kerri Regan Photo: Betsy Erickson

They line up by the dozens, peering at Dan Waldrop from behind taped-up glasses, cracked lenses or reading spectacles from the dollar store. Some simply squint, because they have no glasses at all.

Many folks take clear sight for granted, but it is a priceless gift for the poverty-stricken people who line up at Dan’s Optical’s booth during Project Homeless Connect. Organized by Northern Valley Catholic Social Services, the annual springtime event is a one-stop gathering for people who are homeless (or at risk of becoming homeless). They get help with services like housing, employment, medical care, benefits, legal assistance and pet care. They can pick up personal hygiene items, get their hair cut and get identification.

And thanks to Waldrop, they can also receive custom-made prescription eyeglasses. He’s been providing the service since Project Homeless Connect began four years ago, and of the 90 vendors who participated last year, just two - Dan’s Optical and Marinello Schools of Beauty - were private businesses, according to event coordinator Jessica Delaney.

“My business was young and I wasn’t entirely busy,” Waldrop says. “I offered what I do daily, which is making prescription eyewear on site. The turnout was amazing.”

In fact, it was one of the most popular services at the event, which “gave perspective on how the service is needed for patients who are homeless or in poverty,” says Delaney. Last year, 126 people walked away with new glasses. Most get their glasses the same day, while those who need bifocals or other specialized lenses receive a RABA bus voucher so they can pick them up the next day.

“It’s the gift of sight,” Waldrop says. “When you give someone something as personal as the ability to see, they show you a genuine sense of appreciation.”

Waldrop, a medically licensed optician, makes eyewear at the only wholesale optical lab north of Paradise. It’s a career path that started when he landed a job at Lenscrafters after graduating from Central Valley High School. While attending Chico State University, he managed the Red Bluff Vision Center. He soon realized that there was money to be made in selling glasses and that he didn’t want to spend his days in an exam room, so he switched his emphasis to manufacturing.

He managed a retail optical department and then an ophthalmologist’s surgical office, and soon had an opportunity to buy some eyewear manufacturing equipment. “I started my business out of my spare bedroom in my apartment on Hilltop,” he says. Twelve years ago, he moved into his current office in Shasta Lake.

During Project Homeless Connect, he donates his labor, expertise and equipment to the cause, while private donations cover the cost of the raw materials for the glasses. Not a penny goes into his pocket on what is certainly the busiest day of his year.

Once those glasses are on the bridge of a person’s nose, the world opens up. “They’re able to fill out a DMV application for identification; they can read a flyer to find out where to get food,” says Waldrop, the father of two young children. “Can you really put a price on the value of sight?”

Delaney agrees. “It’s an absolute gift to the community,” she says. “When a child living in a motel or tent can walk away and see that day, that’s heartwarming.”

Dan’s Optical • (530) 275-8581 4624 Shasta Dam Boulevard • Shasta Lake



profile Betsy Erickson Eyecare Dan's Optical Makes Glasses for the Homeless Dan Waldrop Project Homeless Connect Northern Valley Catholic Services Marinello Schools of Beauty Lenscrafters Central Valley High School Chico State University Red Bluff Vision Center


  • Spring 2017 Home and Garden Expo

    03/26/2017
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    This event includes hundreds of exhibits with merchandise, product demonstrations and sample inte...


  • Spring 2017 Home and Garden Expo

    03/26/2017
    01:00PM — 06:00PM

    Popovics Home and Garden Expo is coming to the Shasta District Fair and Event Center! This is y...


It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

  • Free Retail Healthy Food Sampling

    03/28/2017
    03:00PM — 04:30PM

    Celebrate National Nutrition Month with Free retail healthy food samplings on March 28, 2017 at A...


  • Shasta Bike Challenge

    03/28/2017
    06:00PM — 08:00PM

    Under the guidance of several longtime RMB members, you will be guided through the process of m...


  • Work Readiness Event

    03/30/2017
    09:00AM — 01:00PM

    Nervous about finding a job? Not sure how to get started? Come to the 2nd annual Work Readiness E...


  • Free Retail Healthy Food Sampling

    03/30/2017
    03:00PM — 04:30PM

    Celebrate National Nutrition Month with Free retail healthy food samplings on March 30, 2017 at S...


  • Beauty and the Beast, Jr.

    03/30/2017
    07:00PM

    Be Our Guest! You are invited to come to SSCCC’s amazing presentation of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST JR...


  • Tarzan

    03/31/2017
    07:00PM

    Based on Disney's epic animated musical adventure, Tarzan features heart-pumping music by rock le...


  • Beauty and the Beast, Jr.

    03/31/2017
    07:00PM

    Be Our Guest! You are invited to come to SSCCC’s amazing presentation of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST JR...


  • This Year Come to Red Bluff and Celebrate All Fool's Day aka April Fools Day! A Double Header We...


  • Cesar Chavez Day of Service

    03/25/2017
    07:00AM

    Clean up day in memory of Mr. Chavez to honor his legacy of commitment to equality and community ...


  • Dolores Huerta Day of Service

    03/25/2017
    08:00AM

    Feed the Homeless Event. We will be assisting with feeding the homeless population in Tehama Coun...


  • FREE family fun. Come join us at our 5th annual poultry show. See hundreds of purebred chickens a...


  • Spring 2017 Home and Garden Expo

    03/25/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    This event includes hundreds of exhibits with merchandise, product demonstrations and sample inte...


  • Spring 2017 Home and Garden Expo

    03/25/2017
    01:00PM — 06:00PM

    Popovics Home and Garden Expo is coming to the Shasta District Fair and Event Center! This is y...


  • We'll have live music at the Tied House as we celebrate! All In DIPA 16oz cans release party! Sp...


  • Wildcard Brewing Company's Brewhouse Tours

    03/25/2017
    04:30PM — 05:00PM

    Want to know more about what goes on behind the scenes at Wildcard? Join us for a tour. This is y...


  • Canvas and Cocktails

    03/25/2017
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Come drink and paint with us! You don’t need ANY art experience to enjoy this evening of fun, mus...


  • Pretty In Pink Prom

    03/25/2017
    07:00PM — 11:00PM

    Join Nor-Cal Think Pink at their 2nd Annual Pretty In Pink Prom Benefit Night. Enjoy hors d'oeurv...


  • Redding Community Contra Dance

    03/25/2017
    07:00PM — 10:00PM

    What is contra? Contra dance is the American cousin to Scottish and English Country set dances. I...


  • Spring 2017 Home and Garden Expo

    03/26/2017
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    This event includes hundreds of exhibits with merchandise, product demonstrations and sample inte...


  • Spring 2017 Home and Garden Expo

    03/26/2017
    01:00PM — 06:00PM

    Popovics Home and Garden Expo is coming to the Shasta District Fair and Event Center! This is y...


  • Free Retail Healthy Food Sampling

    03/28/2017
    03:00PM — 04:30PM

    Celebrate National Nutrition Month with Free retail healthy food samplings on March 28, 2017 at A...


  • Shasta Bike Challenge

    03/28/2017
    06:00PM — 08:00PM

    Under the guidance of several longtime RMB members, you will be guided through the process of m...


  • Wildcard Brewing Company's Midweek Madness

    03/29/2017
    02:00PM — 08:00PM

    Visit either Wildcard location on Wednesday and get $3 off a growler fill.


  • Beauty and the Beast, Jr.

    03/29/2017
    07:00PM

    Be Our Guest! You are invited to come to SSCCC’s amazing presentation of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST JR...


  • Work Readiness Event

    03/30/2017
    09:00AM — 01:00PM

    Nervous about finding a job? Not sure how to get started? Come to the 2nd annual Work Readiness E...


  • Free Retail Healthy Food Sampling

    03/30/2017
    03:00PM — 04:30PM

    Celebrate National Nutrition Month with Free retail healthy food samplings on March 30, 2017 at S...


  • Beauty and the Beast, Jr.

    03/30/2017
    07:00PM

    Be Our Guest! You are invited to come to SSCCC’s amazing presentation of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST JR...


  • Tarzan

    03/31/2017
    07:00PM

    Based on Disney's epic animated musical adventure, Tarzan features heart-pumping music by rock le...


  • Beauty and the Beast, Jr.

    03/31/2017
    07:00PM

    Be Our Guest! You are invited to come to SSCCC’s amazing presentation of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST JR...


  • This Year Come to Red Bluff and Celebrate All Fool's Day aka April Fools Day! A Double Header We...


  • Love Your Pet Expo 2017

    04/01/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    10th annual free pet-friendly event, with charity auction, pet adoptions, low cost vaccines, hear...


  • Friends of Shasta County Libraries

    04/01/2017
    10:00AM — 01:00PM

    On Saturday, April 1st, 2017, the Friends of the Shasta County Libraries will sell gently used bo...


  • Tarzan

    04/01/2017
    02:00PM

    Based on Disney's epic animated musical adventure, Tarzan features heart-pumping music by rock le...


  • Art Roster 5th Annual Forgery Show

    04/01/2017
    04:00PM — 07:00PM

    The Forgery Show is an annual art exhibit featuring the work of Mt. Shasta's ArtRoster Atelier pa...


  • Wildcard Brewing Company's Brewhouse Tours

    04/01/2017
    04:30PM — 05:00PM

    Want to know more about what goes on behind the scenes at Wildcard? Join us for a tour. This is y...


  • 2017 Young Artist Showcase

    04/01/2017
    05:00PM — 08:00PM

    HIGHLAND ART CENTER ANNUAL YOUNG ARTIST’S SHOWCASE Weaverville, CA, March 22, 2017– It’s t...


  • Bunco Night Fundraiser

    04/01/2017
    06:00PM — 08:30PM

    Join us for a fun night of rolling dice! It's BUNCO time! This is a fun fundraiser that benefits ...


  • Tarzan

    04/01/2017
    07:00PM

    Based on Disney's epic animated musical adventure, Tarzan features heart-pumping music by rock le...


  • Rumi’s Caravan brings to life the rich tradition of ecstatic poetry, featuring the mystical poems...


  • This Year Come to Red Bluff and Celebrate All Fool's Day aka April Fools Day! A Double Header ...


  • Mojo Child at The Dip

    04/01/2017
    08:00PM

    "The Feast is about to begin..." -Jim Morrison Mojo Child delivers Doors music that is fun, en...


  • Clear Creek Wildflowers and Wild Plants

    04/02/2017
    01:00PM — 03:00PM

    Come walk with David Ledger from the Native Plant Society. Enjoy the beauty of blooming wildflow...


  • Tarzan

    04/02/2017
    02:00PM

    Based on Disney's epic animated musical adventure, Tarzan features heart-pumping music by rock le...


  • Mornings with Mommy

    04/04/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    Mornings with Mommy isn't preschool and it isn't childcare. It's something different. Mornings wi...


  • Art Roster 5th Annual Forgery Show

    04/04/2017
    04:00PM — 07:00PM

    The Forgery Show is an annual art exhibit featuring the work of Mt. Shasta's ArtRoster Atelier pa...


Check out our sister publication, Enjoy Magazine: South Valley Living
Wedding Style Guide 2017
Enjoy Magazine Facebook
Enjoy Magazine Instagram Instagram
Enjoy Magazine Pinterest Enjoy Magazine

Enjoy Our Sponsors