Lion’s Club member Darrel Brenton says the items are distributed to many third world countries.
“Internationally, the Lions Club has been doing this for years but in the local area, we have been involved with the effort periodically,” said Brenton. “We’re now putting a bit of a push on it and are trying to make the sight program more visible.”
Brenton said once the eyeglasses are gathered up they are sent to the Lion’s Club international program where the items are directed to any one of the 18 distribution centers.
Used eyeglasses have gone to such countries as Angola, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Cameroon, El Salvador, Ghana, Haiti, the Ivory Coast, Liberia and Mexico.
The Lion’s Club also has a foundation that whose purpose is to take the older glasses and cut the lenses to accommodate different prescriptions.
“Used eyeglasses collected for the sight program can be from all age groups from kids to adults and dropped off to any Lion’s Club members in Labrador West,” noted Brenton. “Right now, we have about 12 volunteers with the local organization.”
Brenton noted the type of eyeglasses that are donated can encompass regular prescription glasses, industrial and non-prescription sunglasses as well.
“There is no specific limit on the quantity of used glasses that are collected,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what condition they are in and the parts can be intermixed.”
He added the glasses would go to the appropriate recycling centre in Canada such as the one in Calgary, Alb.
“The Sight Program and recycling used eyeglasses is important because it keeps these kinds of items out of the landfills and the collection goes to a worthwhile cause,” said Brenton.