According to Lions Clubs International, 1.1 billion people worldwide have an uncorrected vision problem. That means they are nearsighted, farsighted or have other focusing problems but simply have no ability to get a usable pair of glasses for clear vision. That’s where the Lions Club and other service organizations help by collecting used glasses to be distributed to the needy in developing areas of the world.

Inspired by Helen Keller, the organization began to champion advocating for the visually impaired in 1925. The Lions Clubs operate 18 recycling centers worldwide. After glasses are dropped off at a collection site, they are sent to the center to be sorted and stored.

When a vision screening mission is planned, the glasses are readied and sent to be distributed to individuals in need of prescription eyeglasses. This effort helps provide good vision to kids for learning and to adults to improve their ability to work and provide for their families.

Most places that sell glasses have a Lion’s Club collection box for you to donate old spectacles.

More information on the program can be found on their website at

Dr. Jace Picken is an optometrist at Prairie Vision Center in Wahpeton

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