The HSV Evening Lions Club has designated March as Hearing Aid and Eyeglass Collection Month.  According to the World Health Organization,  153 million suffer from uncorrected refractive errors. Although most vision impairments can be easily diagnosed and treated with a pair of corrective lenses, many cannot afford glasses. With  Lions International being known for its charitable work to improve the lives of the vision impaired, a program called Lions Recycle for Sight was developed to assist with this hardship.  

In the fall of 2018, under the leadership of Past President Lion Peter Beck,  the Evening Lions installed two large, readily accessible roadside collection boxes for used eyeglasses. They purchased two postal service mailboxes, had them painted and marked, and installed them on cement pads.  One collection box is located on DeSoto Blvd. in front of the POA offices, and the other is on Balearic Rd. in front of Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church. The two boxes are supplemented by small collection boxes placed in HSV churches and local business establishments like the ReStore and the McCauley Center and Eyeglass Specialists.  Since the installation of these roadside boxes, the Evening Lions have collected over 10,000 pairs of used eyeglasses! Glasses collected locally are donated to a local retired Methodist minister who shares them with a program called Promise for Haiti.

With such success, the program has been expanded to collect used hearing aids as well.  The Hearing aids are sent to Lions International, where the aids are reprogrammed for subsequent use or used for parts in repairing other hearing aids.  The HSV Evening Lions anticipate similar success with this collection program as well.  

Since being established 52 years ago, the HSV Evening Lions have raised and donated over 1.8 million dollars to support various charities focusing on Vision and Hearing impairment, Diabetes Awareness, Hunger, Youth, Environment, and Humanitarian efforts. They also volunteer their time to enhance this community.

The HSV Evening Lions will host a special collection for hearing aids and glasses this month at their March 15th Bingo Night.  Bingo Night is held at the Coronado Center on the 1st and 3rd Friday of each month and serves as one of the main fundraising events for the club.  Lion Ed Smith indicates with a donation of eyeglasses or hearing aids; participants will receive a free coverall sheet for the final game of the night.  “This promotion will help us with our collection efforts and add a bit of fun for our players.   The Lions will also welcome a special guest from World Services for the Blind at this event. We would love to see everyone there and receive help filling our collection boxes with eyeglasses and hearing aids,” said Smith. 

The HSV Evening Lions encourage everyone to stop by our March 15th Bingo Night and drop off some glasses or hearing aids or visit one of our collection boxes in and around the village to support the Lions in living up to their motto of “We Serve.” 

Featured Image: Lion Lynn Harkleroad opens the Lions Collection box for the first time after installation in 2018. as Lion Morris Gotschall watches in the background.

Written by Lions Pete Beck and Cristina Davis 

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