Wanted: Old eyeglasses

During the months of April and May, the Lions Club of Tropical Gardens is collecting used eyeglasses and sunglasses as part of a charitable recycling program.  

The collected glasses will be cleaned and prepared for distribution in developing countries where eye care is often unaffordable and inaccessible. 

Lion Pat Bazell-Taylor, coordinator for the Recycle for Sight campaign said, “We need everyone to donate their used eyeglasses. In most developing countries, an eye exam can cost as much as one month’s wages and a single eye doctor may serve a community of hundreds of thousands of people.”  

She explains the donated glasses will be shipped to regional Lions eyeglass recycling centers where they will be cleaned, categorized by prescription and prepared for distribution by Lions and other groups. 

Anyone wishing to donate used glasses can place them in specially marked Lions Recycle For Sight collection boxes located at all Burger King and Popeyes locations, Chrissie Tomlinson Memorial Hospital, Clifton Hunter High School, Tropical Optical, and various other opticians’ offices. 

So far this month, more than 100 used glasses have been collected but the Lions Club and its partners, Burger King and Popeyes, are hoping to collect 1,000 pairs of spectacles, sunglasses or reading glasses. 

The Club explains that sight preservation has been one of Lions’ defining causes for more than 90 years since they were challenged in 1925 by Helen Keller, who became blind and deaf at age 2, to become “knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness.” Lions took on this challenge. Besides recycling eyeglasses, Lions Clubs also provide eye screenings, eye tissue for sight-saving surgeries through their eye banks, and treatment to those at risk of losing their eyesight. 

The collected glasses will be cleaned and prepared for distribution in developing countries where eye care is often unaffordable and inaccessible. 

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Lion Paulette Conolly-Bailey with one of the club’s eyeglass collection boxes.
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