FocusFirst Initiative Provides High-Tech Vision Care for 87,176 Children Across Alabama,  Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Philadelphia

9% Failed the Screenings and Are Receiving Follow-up Care

  provides a cost-effective direct response to the vision problems of children living in urban and rural communities.  During the 2016-17 program year, our team of Impact America AmeriCorps Members, along with college students from multiple campuses, provided free vision screenings to children, ages six months to five years, at Head Starts and daycare centers located in low-income neighborhoods across Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Philadelphia.  High-tech photo optic scan cameras are used to perform the screenings.  All children failing the screenings have received or are receiving follow-up care coordinated by  Sight Savers America, the Southern College of Optometry, Vanderbilt University Eye Institute, and local eye care providers.
2016-17 Accomplishments:
  • 2,403 Head Start and daycare centers served
  • 87,176 children screened
    • 48,565 children in Alabama
    • 5,788 children in Florida
    • 12,351 children in South Carolina
    • 19,578 children in Tennessee
    • 894 children in Philadelphia
  • 7,846 (9%) children failed the screenings and have received or are receiving follow-up care

SaveFirst Campus-based Coalition Helps 11,609 Working Families Secure 
$19 Million in Refunds

815 Student & Community Volunteers Save Families $4.6 Million in Commercial Tax Prep Fees

 SaveFirst trains college, graduate, and law students to provide free tax preparation services for low-income, working families -- especially targeting those eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit. Impact America AmeriCorps Members manage the tax sites and supervise all participating students' work.  SaveFirst helps families avoid commercial tax preparers who can often be negligent or fraudulent and charge, on average, $400 per tax return.

2017 Tax Season Accomplishments:
  • Alabama: 
    • 9,081 families served
    • $15.6M refunds claimed; $3.6M fees saved
    • 591 volunteers
  • Florida: 
    • 690 families served
    • $1M refunds claimed; $275,000 fees saved
    • 104 volunteers
  • South Carolina:

    • 723 families served
    • $800K refunds claimed; $280,000 fees saved
    • 35 volunteers
  • Memphis: 
    • 1,115 families served
    • $1.7M refunds claimed; $440,000 fees saved
    • 85 volunteers


Impact America, an AmeriCorps Program, is housed and supported by the Center for Ethics & Social Responsibility at The University of Alabama. Additional office space is provided by UAB and Maynard, Cooper & Gale, PC, in Birmingham; Florida Campus Compact in Tallahassee; and Church Health Center in Memphis.