Posted by: Brad Nixon | May 22, 2013

Gift of Sight

I’ve worn glasses since I was fourteen. It never bothered me much, although having to wear them playing football was inconvenient, not to mention extremely expensive for my parents when I’d break a pair. Sorry, Dad.

I just got new glasses. I’m fortunate, because once it’s corrected, my vision is 20/15. I just have to wear glasses to see things clearly farther than about five feet away. I can still read without glasses, but, since most of us suffer from a loss of reading vision as we age, that will probably change within a few years. In fact, something my mom told me many years ago is happening: as my eyes make that shift to losing the close-up vision, my distance vision is actually improving slightly. I guess I’d have to live another 45 years or so to completely regain my distance vision, and that seems unlikely. Besides, since I’ll be over 100 years old, they probably won’t let me drive then, anyway.

I wonder how many pairs I’ve had in 47 years? Many! I’d like to say something about all those old pairs of eyeglasses I’ve gone through and discarded. If you wear glasses, you, like me, have an opportunity to do something good for a fellow human. Granted, you want to keep your most recent pair of obsolete glasses so that you have a spare pair. I always take my spare with me when I travel, because I can’t drive a car or do much of anything without glasses, and I’d hate to be on the road and break or lose my glasses. But if you have any other previous sets of glasses stuck in that dresser drawer, get ’em out, because I’m going to tell you what to do with them to help make the world a better place.

Lions Clubs International is a worldwide volunteer service organization with more than 1.3 million members in over 200 countries. According to the Lions Clubs website, they are the largest service club organization in the world. Here in the U.S., there’s almost certainly a Lions Club in your town, and, for our international readers, there’s probably one near you. Lions do a lot of great work, both at the local community level and on a global scale. One of the organization’s most significant programs centers on their dedication to, in their words, “prevent blindness, restore eyesight and improve eye health and eye care.” One part of that mission is so simple, yet so profoundly powerful that you simply cannot miss the opportunity to participate. The  Lions collect used glasses of any kind. These millions of glasses each year are sent to a number of recycling centers, cataloged  by prescription and cleaned. Then, the Lions distribute them to people who can’t afford them or simply have no access to an eye doctor. As a result, TENS OF MILLIONS of people around the world can see better, learn to read and write, or get a better job thanks to this astoundingly simple but vast operation.

Your next action is clear. Go to that dresser drawer, get out the old pair(s) of glasses, and donate them to the Lions Club. Your optometrist probably participates in the program, but, if not, your public library or community center or a church or other organization near you does. You can go to the Lions Clubs site to locate a donation center: CLICK HERE. You and your insurance company paid for those glasses a long time ago. It costs the Lions Club only about eight cents for each pair they deliver to someone who needs them. Those old glasses are of no use to you, but they may make an important difference to someone who needs a helping hand to have a better life. Children’s glasses are particularly needed. Maybe those of you with children and grandchildren could get a note to the local school and collect a few dozen old pairs. You’ll be living the motto of the Lions Club: “We Help.”

Thank you.


  1. Thank you for your message Brad. As a former Lion I am familiar with their efforts and willingness to help those in need, day by day, year by year.


Leave a Comment. I enjoy hearing from readers.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: