Impaired eyesight is a real problem across the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than 285 million people suffer from an eyesight problem. In most instances of visual impairment (80% of cases), a simple eyeglass prescription will fix the problem.
Unfortunately, the WHO estimates that 90% of the world’s visually impaired live in low-income areas. And many don’t have proper access to corrective treatment. In the U.S. alone, it’s estimated that 5 million Americans can’t afford corrective eyeglasses.
But there are people out there with a clear vision to correct the problem. And they are looking to funeral homes for help.
Lions Club International and Eyeglass Recycling
Lions Club International has more than 1.4 million members around the world. Their motto is simple — “We Serve.” And it shows. The Lions have launched several programs throughout the world. For example, they’ve helped with youth outreach, international relations, environmental issues, and sight conservation.
The Lions have helped improved eye health through their various campaigns, one of which is their ongoing Eyeglass Recycling program. Their website states that “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.”
The Lions Club has 18 eyeglass recycling centers worldwide. Club members — along with other volunteers — collect, clean, sort, and distribute recycled eyeglasses to low-income communities across the world.
How Your Funeral Home Can Help
If you or a staff member are already a member of a local Lions club, check out this quick guide on the seven steps to get an eyeglass recycling campaign up and running in your community.
If you aren’t a member but are still interested in helping out, the first step is to find out where your nearest Lions Club is located. The next step is to request an official eyeglass collection box and have it placed in your funeral home. The Lions Club accepts everything from very strong prescriptions to very weak prescriptions, to reading glasses, to non-prescription sunglasses.
Once you’ve received your collection box, use social media to spread awareness about your eyeglass collection campaign. You also can consider passing out Lions Recycle For Sight brochures in your lobby or at other community events.
A Lions Club member will be by twice a month to empty the collection box. The donated glasses go to the nearest Lions Eyeglass Recycling Center. From there, the recycling center preps the glasses for distribution to the visually impaired.
Other Items to Consider Collecting
Eyeglasses aren’t the only way your funeral home can help. Consider collecting some of the following medical items for recycling:
- Hearing Aids: Some charities that collect and redistribute hearing aids include the Starkey Hearing Foundation, the Lions Club Hearing Aid Recycling Program, and Hearing Charities of America.
- Medical/Mobility Equipment: Items like wheelchairs, walkers, canes, shower chairs, and other medical/mobility equipment can be recycled to help low-income seniors. Goodwill and Salvation Army are good places to consider. You also can click here to find your state’s medical technology recommended recycling centers.
- Medication: Check out our guide on proper ways to dispose of unneeded medicines and medication.