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Fergus Lions Club donates eye glasses for literacy program in Central America

FERGUS - Has anyone ever donated a pair of eyeglasses they no longer need to the Fergus Lions Club?

If so, those old eye glasses may be finding a new owner in rural El Salvador or Honduras this fall.

The Fergus club and Lions Clubs across Canada and internationally participate in the Lions Club recycle for sight program that aids the collection, cleaning, packaging, and shipping of thousands of donated pairs of eye glasses each year to groups who travel to third world countries who have the ability to arrange distribution of the eye glasses to those living in poverty and who would never afford a pair of glasses.

The program has recently donated 750 reading glasses to the SHARE (Sending Help and Resources Everywhere) Agriculture Foundation, a small Canadian group working with the rural poor in Central and South America.

The glasses will be taken to El Salvador and Honduras in Central America by volunteer project manager Les Frayne, and donated to men and women learning to read in small literacy circles in 95 communities in rural El Salvador and Honduras. 

Although the SHARE usually funds small agriculture enterprises and education projects Frayne said he is thrilled to pack the eye glasses in his bags for his monitoring trip and has arranged for an organization to distribute the reading glasses to those who need them.

He is responding to a request from Maria, a middle-aged farmer in El Salvador who is learning to read for the first time in her life in a small SHARE funded literacy circle.

“I no longer have the shame of putting an X on documents when I go to offices because now I can write my name,” she said.

“But it is hard to see the words on the pages because I need glasses. Would you be able to get me some reading glasses?”

Glasses are simply unaffordable for the rural poor in developing countries, so youth, men, and women learning to read do not have the glasses they need. 

The Fergus Lions Club collects recycled hearing aids, soft eyeglass cases, safety glasses, recycled eyeglasses, non-prescription sunglasses, and prescription sunglasses, and uncut lenses.

People can drop off those items for donation and the Fergus Lions Club will help to make the world of difference in someone’s life, somewhere in the world.

Look for drop off boxes in optometrist offices and local churches.


August 12, 2011


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