The South Milwaukee Lions Club is a service club that coordinates a variety of projects and fundraising events with the goal of bettering our community and the world. One of these projects is the collection and distribution of donated eyeglasses and hearing aids. Each week, donated eyeglasses and sunglasses are picked up from the donation boxes throughout the state, and transported to the Eyeglass Recycling Center (ERC) located at the Wisconsin Lions Foundation Headquarters. For the past few years one of these boxes has been hosted by the UWM Center for Community-Based Learning, Leadership, and Research in the UWM Union.
At any given time the ERC holds around 125,000 pairs of useable glasses with around 1,000 pairs coming from UWM annually. They are provided to sponsors of Vision Mission projects to developing countries. Lions members who participate in Vision Mission trips are trained to use equipment and administer eye screenings for thousands of people at no cost. After the screenings, people will receive the prescription lenses that best fit their vision needs.
The need is great. There are millions of people in the world today who need eyeglasses to see clearly. Globally, one child in four cannot see well enough to learn to read without glasses. By age 40, 90% of adults experience a decrease in the ability to read print and need eyeglasses.
Are you interested in helping out with this program? There are two eyeglass collection boxes right here on the UWM campus, located in the Union Concourse (outside of the CCBLLR office) and a second one on the first floor of Engleman Hall. The most usable glasses are those with intact frames and undamaged lenses. Swing by and drop off your extra glasses today! Visit the Lion’s Club website at http://www.lionspride.org to learn more.