Anatomy of a Miracle: Detroit Optometrists Come Forward to Provide Special Glasses to a Young Man in Foster Care

Thomas Robertson in his glasses
Thomas Robertston loves his new glasses!

Near the end of May, FTSG’s Shirley Roseman received an urgent email about a young man in foster care who needed a new pair of glasses.

The problem? Thomas Robertson has a light-sensitivity problem, and Medicaid doesn’t reimburse for the transition lenses he needs. Not only that, but Thomas will be “aging out” of the foster care system in July, so we needed to find glasses for him quickly!

Fortunately, the metro Detroit community loves “our” kids in foster care – just put out the word, and the help comes poring in.

In this instance, we reached out to the Detroit Optometric Society – whose President, Michael J. Pack, DOS, immediately sent out an email to his members.

Thomas’ foster care worker, Anita Mikos, told us the response was overwhelming – within an hour, several optometrists had offered to come to Thomas’ rescue! According to Anita, “It would have taken me months of bureaucratic tightroping to get this foster youth his glasses if it wasn’t for your organization.”

Eventually, Anita made Thomas an appointment with Optical World in Detroit, which is partially owned by Dr. Lorne Gottessman. In an interview with FGSG after Thomas picked up his new glasses, Dr. Gottesman told us that his office is, “…always happy to help when we can, and we look forward to working with more of our community’s foster children and young adults.”

But most importantly, what does Thomas think?

“The new glasses are great!!” Thomas also asked us to thank everyone who worked to make it possible for him to have them.

And that’s what we’re doing right now: First — thank you, Anita, for reaching out to us and working so closely with us to help Thomas. Next, we’re overwhelmed by the generous help of the Detroit Optometric Society and Dr. Michael Pack, who took time away from his own practice to send out the alert.

And last but (far from) least, our gratitude goes out to Optical World of Detroit and Dr. Lorne Gottessman for being willing to help a foster youth in need on such short notice.

You Can Make a Huge, Positive Impact on the Life of a Foster Child!

Our area’s foster children, families, and teens both in and aging out of the foster care system have ongoing needs that aren’t being filled by our state’s Department of Human Services. Those needs include orthodontic care, clothing, books, furniture, housewares … the list is large, and the need is great.

What is also true, though, is that metro Detroiters always step up when we know that our kids in foster care need something. With that in mind, if you can volunteer a (new or nearly-new) good or a service ranging from music lessons to a haircut, please contact Help Closet Coordinator Shirley Roseman (, register your gift on our website, or make a financial contribution. Whatever you do and whatever you give, you will make an impact that will last through the seventh generation.


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