By KEN BICHA
Rose Holburn, a licensed dispensing optician who works at Kaiser Permanente’s Port Orchard clinic, has joined a team of optometrists, opticians and trained lay people who provide eye exams and refurbished glasses to patients without access to services in Uganda.
The team of 14 expects to provide vision screening for 2,200 people, 125 of whom will likely need cataract surgery to be performed largely by local doctors. Rose will fit patients with eyeglasses that people throughout the Pacific Northwest have donated mostly through Lions Clubs.
Their collective efforts will make a huge difference in the patients’ lives. Rose, who has been in this line of work for almost 30 years, is anxious to get to know the people and their culture and to enjoy the safari opportunities to see mountain gorillas, tree-climbing lions, chimps and experience a two-hour boat cruise (a nice reward for their hard work).
Volunteer work is nothing new to Rose. As a child, she sold soda and raffle tickets to support local firefighters. After serving in the U.S. Navy from 1979 through 1983, Rose conducted meetings and activities for her children (Tiger Cubs and Daisy Troop), coached soccer, basketball and softball, plus chaperoned school field trips.
I’m sure many moms relate to this hectic schedule. After Rose and her husband Nate moved to Port Orchard, they joined the Eagles Club, where Rose is currently the Aerie vice president). With a number of local and national charities, she willingly volunteered for traffic control at the Fathoms O’ Fun Easter Egg Hunt, the Taste of Port Orchard and Jingle Bell Run events. She’s also collected food and toys at Thanksgiving and Christmas, helped with the Eagles car show and Christmas in August food drive — all for the South Kitsap Helpline food bank — chaired fundraising dinners and dances, and served as a trustee.
With this impressive “volunteer resume,” Rose is a solid choice by VOSH International, or Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity, as they work to accomplish their mission “to provide the gift of vision and quality eye health to people worldwide.”
— Ken Bicha is a community volunteer and Eagles Club member who is a former Port Orchard Man of the Year.