Ever since Helen Keller inspired us to champion the cause in 1925, we’ve served and advocated for the blind and visually impaired. Nearly a century later, this long-standing mission continues unhindered.
Our Strategic Objective
Prevent avoidable blindness and improve quality of life for people who are blind and visually impaired.
We have a long history of serving the blind and visually impaired, and remain committed to continuing this mission into our next century of service.
Eyeglass Recycling – How You Can Help
In just about any home, one can find a pair of eyeglasses that are no longer being used. That same pair of eyeglasses can change another person's life. That's why the Lions started the Recycle For Sight program. Everyone can help.
If you have used eyeglasses you no longer need, you can donate them now. Lions accept prescription and reading glasses, sunglasses and plastic and metal frames. Children’s glasses are especially needed.
Lions Clubs throughout New Zealand collect these unwanted spectacles and send them to our processing centres where they are sorted, checked for scratches, cracks and screws tightened before being washed in an ultrasonic washer and dried. They then have their prescription recorded and are packed for delivery to Volunteer Ophthalmologist Services Overseas (VOSO) for distribution to those with poor eyesight in the Pacific Islands.
Type 2 Diabetes is common in the Islands and is the main cause of blindness. Lions Clubs in the Islands receive the glasses and distribute them to visiting volunteer Optometrists who test patients and fit them with the recycled glasses at no cost.
VOSO consists of teams of eye surgeons, optometrists and eye care workers who visit the isolated communities and bring enhancement to the lives of hundreds of people annually. The project has provided over 80,000 pairs of glasses which would have a replacement value in excess of $15 million.
Sunglasses are also a useable item for the Islands particularly after cataract operations. Transporting the glasses to the Islands is always a problem so any way to help is appreciated. Some firms have spare room in their containers and are happy to help. Some travellers take a few boxes up as personal luggage.
Listen to an interview on glasses re-cycling by Jennie Vowles of Karori Lions on the radio.