Wanted: 1,000 used eyeglasses

If you have spectacles you no longer use, the Lions Club of Tropical Gardens wants them.

The club has launched a campaign to collect 1,000 used eyeglasses for recycling.

With World Sight Day and International White Cane Safety Day falling this month, the club chose October to encourage local residents to help others see better.

In 1925, Helen Keller, at age 45, challenged Lions International to become “knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness.” Ms Keller became blind and deaf when she was 18 months old and as she grew older, she learned sign language, Braille and how to speak, and became a tireless advocate for people with disabilities.

Lions International accepted the challenge, and today sight remains one of its defining causes.

The challenge developed into a global initiative for the collection of used eyeglasses and recycling them to underprivileged and impoverished communities, establishment of eye banks – which annually provide quality eye tissue for sight saving surgeries, medical education and eye research, screening of hundreds of thousands of adults and children, and providing cataract surgeries and other eye care services to those at risk of losing their sight.

Over the past decade, the Lions Club of Tropical Gardens has collected used eyeglasses and sent them to the Lions International recycling centers.

During the next six months, from October to March, the club will focus on the eyeglasses collection drive with an aim to collect 1,000 pairs.

Glasses can be dropped off anytime at collection boxes located at both Cayman Islands Hospital and the Chrissie Tomlinson Memorial Hospital, as well as any optician’s office in Grand Cayman.

As well as sending donated glasses overseas for the international campaign, the Lions Club of Tropical Gardens also assists people with sight problems in the Cayman Islands by facilitating sight tests in schools and making referrals for people with sight issues.

For more information about the sight campaign or to make a donation, contact Jondo Obi at 916-3345.