Lions Recycle for Sight

District 25G Lions Eyeglass Recycling Program

Eyeglass Collection                                                                                               

The process begins with hundreds of collection boxes, pails, and other containers placed throughout many communities in our district in north-central Indiana.  The used eyeglasses begin a recycle journey to prepare them for a new life when Lions mission groups travel to Mexico yearly to distribute them to those in need.

Eyeglass Processing

*Each pair of glasses is pre-inspected and those that are unusable (lenses too scratched or frames unrepairable) are pulled out.  Unusable metal frames are scrapped for payment of the metal which funds equipment repairs for our 3 autorefractors and 3 lensometers.

*Glasses are repaired:  Missing nosepieces are added, screws tightened and safety shields are removed.

*Good glasses are washed in an ultrasound machine then dried and re-inspected by Lions.

*Three Lions have lensometers in their homes that ‘read’ the prescription of each lens.   The lensometers are connected to a laptop and printer that prints a label that identifies several important measurements of each lens.   Each pair of glasses is placed in a separate bag with the printed prescription label.  

*The glasses are then sorted into a wide range of classifications, including men, women, children, near-sighted, far-sighted, single vision and bi-focals.   After several sortings, glasses are boxed (50 per box) by prescription and labeled for final shipping to Mexico.

Eyeglass Mission Planning

The district depends on several partnerships with individuals and business in our area to help provide funds for supplies and shipping of the glasses to the US city where the glasses cross the  border into Mexico.  The team leader coordinates each year’s eyeglass mission with a Lions club in the city where the mission will be held.   The team coordinates with the ‘host Lions club’ to set dates for the mission, selection of the mission venue, hotel and meal accommodations, and group travel.

Eyelass Mission Venue

*The work flow is planned to allow efficient movement of people in and out of the facility.  The five-day mission allows for up to 800 people daily coming to get an eye exam and glasses.

*Once a person enters the mission clinic, a Lion uses one of the three autorefractors to determine the person’s needed prescription.  

*Another Lion will review the person’s need and search to find a pair of glasses that matches as closely as possible.   Interpreters are an important part in communication during this process.

*Used glasses come in two sizes:  too big and too small.  Lions in the ‘adjusting’ area have the necessary tools to adjust the glasses to fit each person.   

*As persons leave the mission venue, smiles are always seen on their faces as they now have a better quality of vision. 

Visit: to see photos from several mission venues.


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