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Lions urge eyeglass donation

The winners of the Park Rapids annual grocery drawing are the following: Headwaters Intervention Center, $200; John Theisen, $100; Paula Dietman and Janine Werden, $50 each.

The Park Rapids Lions thanks everyone who participated by buying a ticket at Coborn's. Proceeds are used for the club's local and district projects.

Donate eyeglasses

Those who no longer need used eyeglasses or sunglasses are asked to consider donating them to the Lions.

Minnesota Lions can accept prescription eyeglasses (frames with lenses intact), non-prescription sunglasses and reading glasses. (No lenses without frames or frames without lenses, please.)

Why donate glasses?

Globally, one child in four cannot see well enough to learn to read without eyeglasses. By age 40, 90 percent of adults experience a decrease in their ability to read print and need eyeglasses.

Many emerging countries lack the resources to manufacture quality lenses and the cost of importing eyeglasses is far beyond the means of the average citizen.

Millions fail to reach their economic, educational and social potential without access to quality eyeglasses. The World Health Organization estimates that the eyesight of one-fourth of the world's population can be improved through the use of corrective lenses.

Unfortunately for many, a pair of glasses is both unaffordable and inaccessible. In developing countries, an eye exam costs as much as one month's wages, and a single doctor may serve a community of hundreds of thousands of people.

Lions to the rescue

For over 80 years, individual Lions clubs and districts have collected old, unwanted eyeglasses for redistribution to the poor in developing countries.

Lions and other volunteers donate travel expenses, time and talent to dispense recycled eyeglasses free of charge to individuals in developing nations.

Some people walk 50 miles to receive free eyeglasses from the Lions.

Minnesota Lions members have collected more than six million pairs of eyeglasses.

The Wisconsin Lions Foundation operates a regional facility in Rosholt, Wis., where Lions volunteers clean, repair and classify the glasses by prescription.

Glasses are then made available for medical mission work. It costs less than eight cents to provide glasses to a person in a developing nation.

Last year, the Park Rapids area donated over 1,600 pairs of glasses that were taken to the mid-winter conference to add to the thousands brought in by the other clubs in the district. These are taken to regional centers to be readied for distribution.

For more information on joining the Park Rapids Lions Club, contact Larry Novak, membership, or Zelda Novak, president, at 732-9295.