The Children of Tomorrow club runs successful eyeglass donation project

Some of the SRHS students involved in The Children of Tomorrow club. Officers pictured are President Youngji Kim (front row, left), Vice President Jua Kim (front row, middle) and Treasurer Varshini Gurushankar (middle row, right). (courtesy photo)

The Children of Tomorrow club runs successful eyeglass donation project

By Nick Ng

Many kids with vision problems in low-income families in San Diego may get a free, new pair of eyeglasses this summer, thanks to a new club at Scripps Ranch High School (SRHS) that started in January. 

Junior Youngji Kim, founder and president of The Children of Tomorrow, set up a donation drive on campus that collects eyeglasses, which go to nonprofits Eye Care 4 Kids and the Lions Club Eyeglasses Recycling Center. So far, people donated about 160 glasses, from prescription to reading types. 

“I haven’t seen our school or schools around us do a glasses donation drive,” Kim said. “And I’m visually impaired, so I thought it would be significant if children or students like me could have access to eyewear.” 

As a first-time club founder and president, Kim was surprised that the club had received more donations than she expected.

“Before I did this club, I was and am currently involved in a lot of volunteering events and organizations that have to do with assisting or supporting children,” Kim said. “I thought some students in the school might have similar interests, so I decided to start this [club] to help younger students or students the same age as us.” 

With the help of Leroy Alicea, who teaches ninth and 10th grade math, Kim and the club officers were able to jump start The Children of Tomorrow in two weeks and start their first project.

“Jua (Youngji’s sister) was in my AIM2 (Advanced Integrated Math 2) class and she began talking to me about sponsoring their club,” Alicea said. “I felt that what they were doing was a sign of maturity that you don’t often see in young people. So, I agreed.”

The officers of the club also include Vice President Jua Kim, Treasurer  Varshini Gurushankar and Head of Publicity Helen Bian. The club has about 10 participants a month, but that number may increase because of certain fundraising events that attract some students. Kim and the club officers spread the word by using social media and word-of-mouth among students, school faculty and families in Scripps Ranch.

“I feel it’s important to us because society depends on the active growth of the younger children of our generation because they will eventually lead the world of tomorrow,” Kim said. “By sustaining younger generations, we make better connections, support communities and help our future at the same time.”

Kim might be setting up a Toys for Tots drive with The Children of Tomorrow in the fall at SRHS, but that is still a work in progress.

“By next summer, we’re hoping to do a bigger fundraiser because we haven’t been able to do that this year because of time and lack of planning,” Kim said. “Within a year, we hope to have enough experience to design a fundraiser and send a check or large amount to an organization.”