2007-02-16 / Community

In Girl, 12, Optician Sees A Way To Give Back

By Brian Magoolaghan

By Brian Magoolaghan

Nancy Feldman, an optician, recently helped a 12-year-old girl who needed new glasses after a fight at school. She recently decided to find ways to give back through her profession. Nancy Feldman, an optician, recently helped a 12-year-old girl who needed new glasses after a fight at school. She recently decided to find ways to give back through her profession. Writers sometimes find Rockaway stories at unexpected times in unexpected places - like when they're buying sunglasses in Rockville Centre.

That's where I recently met Nancy Feldman, an optician with 30 years of experience who works at the eye clinic at Peninsula Hospital Center and about 15 other nursing homes and extended care facilities throughout Queens and Long Island.

Feldman, whose maiden name, Mirkin, a name synonymous with eye care in Rockaway, told me about the kind of generous act that you don't often read about as I browsed through the frames at her brother Bruce's shop, Accent on Eyes. (Full disclosure: I buy my glasses and contacts at Mirkin Vision Care in Rockaway and my sunglasses at Accent On Eyes; the Mirkin family has taken care of my eyes since I was a kid.)

Feldman's story started with a discussion among friends that resulted in a New Year's resolution to give back.

"I was trying to think of ways that I could be a better person," she candidly told me this week during a follow-up conversation. "It was on my mind, and then I realized that within my work there are so many opportunities."

It would take less than a month for the right opportunity to present itself.

On January 19, a 12-year-old Edgemere girl came to the eye clinic with her mother - broken glasses in hand. The frames were ruined in a fight at school.

The girl's health insurance wouldn't authorize new frames because it wasn't time for a replacement yet. "They said it was too soon," Feldman explained. That's when the optician decided to make an act of kindness. "I certainly didn't want to see her without glasses, and [her family] said they couldn't afford a pair, so I decided just to make her up a pair."

Today, the girl, whose name we're withholding at her mother's request, has a brand new set of flex-frame glasses with new carbon fiber lenses.

"May daughter is very happy with her glasses," the girl's mother, Madeline, told The Wave on Wednesday. "They look great on her, and she likes them."

Feldman, who was surprised that the story grabbed our attention, admitted that it felt good to help. "But I'm not a hero or anything," she quickly added.

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