Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Eyeglass Recycle

The World Health Organization estimates more than 157 million people around the world have uncorrected eye conditions that could be corrected with the use of proper eyeglasses.  Yet so many people in low and middle incomes can't afford them. 

The Joint Sight Conservation Committee (JSCC) -- a committee comprised of members from the Juneau Club and the Mendenhall Flying Lions Club -- works hard at doing their part to fill the need. 

In Juneau, there are drop boxes at all eye doctor offices in town where residents can drop off their old and unwanted eye glasses.  JSCC members pick them up and store them in their garage until some point they are ready to ship them off to Aurora Borealis, the eyeglass recycle center in North Pole. Once there, trained volunteers sort, clean, and determine the prescription strength of the glasses.  Then they sit until they are dispensed, for free, to needy children and adults. 

And the cycle begins. 

Your used eyeglasses can help someone see better.

Here's the problem....  My husband has been a Lion for five years and the only reason I know about eyeglass recycling is from him....  I can't say I've ever noticed a drop box, or read any articles in the paper, or seen any posters.  Nothing.  So if they can collect hundreds of eyeglasses a year with NO apparent advertising.... imagine what they could do with a little effort! 

Here's some suggested activities that could generate more public awareness:
  • Display the "Lions Recycle for Sight" poster at collection locations to promote community awareness.
  • Obtain a CBJ proclamation designating a special day as the annual "Recycle for Sight Day."
  • List your collection sights in the Juneau Empire and/or Capital City Weekly. 
  • List your collection sights on Channel 12, the Community Access channel.
  • Collect eyeglasses in coordination with a health fair or other vision screening event.
  • Get schools involved in collecting eyeglasses from home.  Have a contest with the winning class getting a pizza party!
  • Work with the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and other youth groups to collect eyeglasses.
Lions work effortlessly.  There's so much to do with not enough members.  You don't have time to toot your own horn, but some times it's necessary.  Juneau deserves to know all the good things their local Clubs are doing for their community.  One way to do that is to get the word out.

"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." 
Helen Keller

Source: A Club Guide for Collecting Used Eyeglasses. IAD-403 EN 2/10

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