Mason Lions Club collecting glasses and hearing aids

Mason Lions Club collecting glasses and hearing aids
Published: Feb. 13, 2022 at 2:19 PM EST
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MASON, Mich. (WILX) - Doug Klein is not only the Mason Lions Club secretary, but also a longtime glasses wearer. He says he still remembers the time in his life where he couldn’t see much.

“I was in fourth grade and I complained that I couldn’t see what the teacher was writing on the Blackboard,” Klein said. “And so they moved me up to the front row of the class, but that didn’t seem to help so my parents took me to the eye doctor and found out that I was nearsighted. And that’s when I got my glasses for the first time.”

It’s this opportunity to see that Klein wants everyone to have access to.

Background: Lions Club collecting eyeglasses and hearing aids to recycle

“Eye health is a priority for people,” Klein said. “They ought to think about their eye health.”

Globally, 2.2 billion people live with vision impairment, with 1 billion of those impairments being preventable and correctable. To help others that might not be able to get their hands on glasses - the Lions Clubs are collecting your old glasses and hearing aids so they can recycle and repurpose them.

Klein said, “We take those eyeglasses and hearing aids and we send them to a recycling center.”

And that recycling center then cleans and grades the glasses and then sends them with various eye doctors out on mission trips. They also send them to people in our local area and throughout the United States.

Local eye doctor Chad Linsley of Mason Family Eye Care has been on several mission trips to help people imporve their eye health in other countries like Haiti, Guatemala, Peru and Costa Rica.

Doug says he relies on their donated glasses on these trips.

”It’s just a heartwarming thing to see people who might not be able to see very well to do a good job on their job or to study in school to be able to do that with glasses,” he said.

On these mission trips both youth and adults receive an eye exam and a recycled pair of glasses that match their prescription need. The glasses are then fitted to the patient all for free.

To help the cause you can drop of your glasses and sunglasses to several sight and sound collection boxes around Mid-Michigan, including the Mason Library.

“We’ll take any prescription. We don’t need the cases,” organizers said. “So if you like that case that you have on the on the glasses that you’re donating just hold onto the case and drop the glasses in the box.”

Klein hopes the collection not only gathers thousands of glasses for those who need it, but also brings awareness to the importance of eye sight in both the young and old.

“We do screenings for very young children, but we also encourage adults and seniors also to get their eyes checked,” he said. “Seniors always have that concern about cataracts and things diabetics have concerns about diabetic retinopathy.”

This year the Mason Lions Club actually doubled their local eyeglass collection sites around town.

Locations where used eyeglasses and hearing aids can be donated are:

  • Professional Eye Care
  • Mason Family Eye Care
  • Wares Pharmacy
  • Jones Vision Center
  • Sam’s Club
  • Vickers Leslie Funeral Home
  • St. James Catholic Church
  • Mason Middle School
  • Mason City Hall
  • Mason First United Methodist Church
  • Modern Woodmen Fraternal Financial
  • Mason Library

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