Spectacle Recycling

A Brief History -

Right from the earliest days of Lions Clubs one of the major projects has been to help eliminate preventable blindness.  Lions were challenged by Helen Keller to become ‘Knights of the Blind' and as a result the invention of the ‘white stick' is solely attributed to the Lions.

The Lions Club of Midhurst has embraced this aim ever since being Chartered in 1991 and for many years has received redundant spectacles, including sun glasses, from the public. 

This year alone we have collected more than 95,000 pairs of spectacles. 

What Happens next -

The spectacles are sorted so that only those in good condition, i.e not worn, scratched or distorted are  saved. They are then packed off to a Lions operation in Le Havre where they are cleaned, calibrated and dispatched to those in need in the Third World.  

Spec sorting

Because the prescriptions of bi-focal and vary-focal lens are so specific, these cannot be used, as it would be very difficult to successfully match the prescription to the receiver.

How do we raise funds and how is it spent -

Spectacle frames containing precious metals are sent a recycling centre where we are credited with the value of the re-claimed metals.

We are quite specific that this revenue should be used only for sight-related uses. 

We make donations to other Lions Clubs for their sight related projects and also to various organisations concerned with helping visually disadvantaged persons both locally and in the Third World.? ?This money also allows us to finance Eye Camps in the Third World, where opticians from our country give freely of their time and expertise to perform hundreds of cataract operations. 

They also distribute glasses as close to the prescription needed to those who are struggling with their eyesight.

It is a truth that if the head of the family's sight is failing and unable to work, the whole family suffers and the person may also be rejected by his family. If the sight is fully or partially restored by the provision of a pair spectacles, they all prosper!

Some of the money generated from the reclaimed metal is used to help with the costs of transporting the spectacles to where they are needed.

Where do we get the used spectacles from -

From a number of sources. 

There are local collecting bins in several locations, including the Riverbank Medical Centre, the Grange Centre and Rogate Stores.  

Thereafter we obtain spectacles from the Lions Club of Chichester until the next April arrives - their spectacle re-cycling operation is much bigger than ours and has been in operation much longer. They receive their spectacles from all over Great Britain, Ireland and Gibraltar and these are transported free by Parcel Force.

As can be seen, this a nation wide operation that puts to good use that which would otherwise be discarded and gives support to many less advantaged than ourselves  

Thank you for your support.