I appeal to you Lions, you have your sight, your hearing, you are strong and brave and kind.
Will you not constitute yourselves Knights of the Blind in this crusade against darkness?
I am your opportunity. I am knocking at your door.
- Helen Keller
We serve the world community!
In just about any dresser drawer, one can find a pair of eyeglasses that are no longer being used. That same pair of eyeglasses can change another person’s life. Lions of SD collect more than 30,000 pairs of used eyeglasses every year for volunteer missions. Every pair of glasses is inspected for quality. Volunteers clean, sort by prescription strength and package the glasses. Most of the recycled glasses are distributed to people in need in developing countries where they will have the greatest impact.
How Can You Help?
If you have used eyeglasses you no longer need, you can donate them now to your local Lions Club. Children’s glasses are especially needed. You can drop off your old eyeglasses at Lions sponsored collection boxes in your community. If you are interested ask your local Lions club for information on how you and your business or organization can collect!
Feature Story - Local Lions Clubs Help 14 Year Old See a Brighter Future!
14-year-old Jacob C. of Kimball, SD, sees a new life for himself after several South Dakota Lions Clubs helped pay for bioptic glasses, which is a lens system with a miniature telescope mounted in the upper part of an eyeglass lens.
The things most people take for granted in their daily vision don’t go unnoticed by Jacob.
“I am able to go to Burger King and actually read the menu,” Jacob said. “I can watch sports and actually keep up with the game and not rely on friends describing the action to me.”
And most important to any 14-year-old in South Dakota – Jacob can drive. He has his learner’s permit now and will receive his full license in July. That, more than anything, has changed his outlook on his future.
“I’m a farm kid, so driving is a pretty big deal for me. Not to mention running the tractor for feeding cows, cutting hay, baling and all the other things needed on the farm. I always felt that I wouldn’t be as helpful to my dad as I wanted to be, and that I couldn’t help like my three older brothers do. All these fears were put to rest when I got the bioptics,” Jacob said.
His sight is so good that he even went deer hunting last fall. “I tried hunting for two years, but I never got my deer because I never could see them in time. Last season I finally dropped my first deer,” he shared.
Dr. Paul Greenfield of The Eye Doctors, PC, in Sioux Falls said Jacob has an inherited ocular condition that limits his ability to see objects clearly with conventional eyeglasses. Bioptics, telescopes mounted in the lenses of specially designed eyeglasses, provide stronger magnification than regular eyewear. The bioptics, in combination with proper training through the Drive Smart program in Aberdeen, allow Jacob to drive safely and confidently.
“I was exasperated at my dependency. The bioptics have given me hope, the ability to be helpful, to drive, to feel like I can do anything. It gave me a sense of independence!” Jacob says.
The Bioptic Lens and specialized training was made possible to Jacob through the Lions of SD Foundation and six Lions Clubs: Gregory Lions Club, Mitchell Palace City Lions Club, Mitchell Lions Club, Miller Lions Club, Chamberlain Lions Club and Wagner Lions Club.