half Helen Blog

From left to Right: Carissa Stengel, Amy Einhorn, Megan Odell, Stephanie Collins, Chelsea Elliott, Seth Rau, Meghan Jones


Meet optical Prime!

Three years in the making and optical Prime is finally here! On Saturday, June 5, optical Prime debuted during half Helen’s 8th Birthday Celebration.

One in four children has a vision impairment, but it is not enough to identify the problem. optical Prime provides the solution – a follow-up eye exam and treatment with prescription glasses. Originally piloted as a pop-up clinic, optical Prime is now a 32-foot tiny house on wheels that brings high-quality eye care directly to patients.

A Community Affair

John King Construction, Chupik Designs, and HBC Health donated their services to bring optical Prime to life. half Helen paid $123,300 for the cost of materials and some labor to build the trailer. Labor and project management was donated by John King Construction and most of the subcontractors. Special thanks to Cox Plumbing who donated 100% of their labor and materials. Viki Chupik of Chupik Designs is solely responsible for aesthetically defining the experience we want for all of our patients aboard optical Prime. Undoubtedly, our patients will feel the warmth and cheerfulness she created!  Kerry Hilton of HCB Health created the “Austin-friendly” wrap to encapsulate the vision care that hH offers children today, so they can see their world clearly, as well as our plan to serve adults too. 

It’s pretty amazing what a little bit of money and a lot of love can achieve!

Volunteer of the Year

The day’s festivities also included recognizing Dr. Clint Stengel as Volunteer of the Year. Dr. Stengel stepped up early to help make optical Prime a reality. He increased Chelsea’s knowledge about eye disease, exams, and diagnostic equipment as well as helping kick-off our pop-up clinic by teaching us how optometrists provide eye exams and what equipment we needed. We are grateful that Dr. Stengel has made a commitment to hH’s success!

Inspiring Stories

Ashcon Habibi, Senior Director of Special Services at Austin Achieve Public Schools, half Helen’s longest school partner, told an inspiring story about a scholar who improved two grade levels in reading in one year thanks to the vision screening and eye care services she received from half Helen. His “teachable moment” story inspired attendees to give, bringing our Launch optical Prime total to $36,540. Special thanks to T Kahler Consulting for offering a $20,000 matching gift! This funding will help us staff and stock up for our first clinic this month.

Take a Virtual Tour

For those of you who could not make it, or just want to see the clinic a second time, you can now take a virtual tour. You can also view photos from our 8th Birthday Celebration here.

Event Sponsors

Foundation Supporters

Special Thanks

John King, Viki Chupik, Kerry Hilton



Nagelhout & Co. 

State Capital Roofing

Central Texas Drywall 

Ultimate Mechanical

Cox Plumbing 

Air Craft

Full Circuit Services, Inc.