Area Lions Clubs Want Your Used Eyeglasses

Households in Central Oahu should start searching now for their discarded pairs of old eyeglasses, sitting forgotten in a drawer or box, and bring them to the “Lions in Sight” recycling drive Jan. 26 at area stores.

The Wahiawa Lions Club will have a booth by Longs Drugs at Wahiawa Town Center that day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the Mililani club will be at the Mililani Walmart store from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“We get everything,” said Wahiawa Lions president Jim Hatfield, referring to the variety of donated spectacles, “but they appreciate anything.”

Each year Lions clubs statewide collect the donated glasses, wash and clean them, pack them in boxes and ship them to countries where eye care is very hard to come by. Hawaii clubs received more than 10,000 pairs last year and sent them to the Philippines, Afghanistan and to the Lions recycling center in Vallejo, Calif., which in turn takes them on eye-care missions to Mexico.

“Used glasses cannot be distributed in the U.S.,” explained Alice Kudo, chairwoman of the state collection drive, “but we do help thousands in underdeveloped countries.

“Many are children who benefit from our projects, which enables them to continue their quest for higher education. And the rest are adults who are able to find better jobs to support their families.”

All Walmarts on Oahu are involved in the drive, as well as many Longs Drugs stores.

For more information on the Wahiawa collection, call Hatfield at 622-4865. For details on the Mililani drive, call president Bud Jenkins at 220-4977.