The Jackson Lions Club is asking everyone to look through closets, dresser drawers and nooks and crannies in their homes and vehicles for usable prescription eyeglasses, sunglasses, reading glasses and frames to donate to the service club for its Recycle For Sight program.
“We hope that as people clean their homes, they’ll donate their unused glasses to the program,” said Jim Parker, Lions Club president. “In most lower developed countries, an eye exam can cost as much as one month’s wages, and a single eye doctor may serve a community of hundreds or thousands of people.”
Parker said the donated glasses from East Feliciana Parish residents will be shipped to an official Lions Eyeglass Recycling Center, where Lions and other volunteers prepare the eyeglasses for distribution. Each pair is cleaned, and the prescription power of each lens is determined.
“The glasses we collect in the Jackson community will help children and adults in other countries enjoy a better quality of life. Many will experience corrected vision for the first time, enabling them to read, attend school, gain employment and take care of their families,” Parker said. “Your donations can change the lives of many across the globe.”
The World Health Organization estimates that more than 157 million people around the world have uncorrected refractive errors, or nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatisms.
Refractive errors can be easily corrected with eyeglasses, yet millions of people in low- and middle-income countries lack access to basic services, Parker said.
Since 1917, Lions clubs have aided the blind and visually impaired. To donate usable glasses, drop them off at Chit Chat Café, Helping In His Name Food Bank, McDonald’s Pharmacy and Star AG, all in Jackson.
Parker said residents should soon look for Recycle For Sight collection boxes at those locations for easy drop-off, but, for now, donations can be given to each of the store managers or business owners.
For information or to get involved in Lions Club community service projects, contact Kevin Tomb at McDonald’s Pharmacy, Smitty Schmidt at Chit Chat Café or Beth Dawson at Helping in His Name Food Bank.
To learn more, visit www.lionsclubs.org.