INDEPENDENT NEWS

Thousands of glasses collected

Published: Tue 2 Nov 2004 12:22 AM
1 November 2004
Thousands of glasses collected on Lions World Sight Day
Thanks to many thoughtful New Zealanders, thousands of much needed sunglasses and eyeglasses were donated during the Lions World Sight Day campaign. The glasses, collected by OPSM and Visique Optometrists, will be recycled by Lions Clubs New Zealand and distributed by Voluntary Ophthalmic Service Overseas (VOSO).
Ron Lawrence, CEO of Lions Clubs New Zealand says “It has been another successful collection this year but we’re still counting as glasses continue to come in. We are up to 6000 but are continuing our drive for more donations. Lions Clubs New Zealand would like to thank everyone who donated glasses and supported the campaign, especially our sponsors Visique Optometrists and OPSM. Thanks also to all the local libraries, councils and other organisations who had collection points.
“Every little bit counts but it was interesting to see that some of the smaller centres around the country dug deepest. Some places got as many as 300 glasses donated to one location,” says Lawrence.
The glasses will now be cleaned and graded at one of two Lions Clubs eye glass recycling units. They will then be distributed to areas in New Zealand by Lions Clubs and countries in the South Pacific by VOSO, a New Zealand wide charity that provides eye examinations and surgery to South Pacific nations.
This is the fourth year the Lions World Sight Day campaign has been run in New Zealand.
John Adam of Visique Adam Optometrists says “It’s fantastic to see so many New Zealanders getting behind the event and donating their old glasses. As the event gains momentum, our staff are more than happy to receive glasses each year, knowing that they will go to those in need. The high amount of sunshine hours in Pacific Island nations and the increased UV light we experience in New Zealand due to ozone depletion, makes eye care a priority for communities in this corner of the world.”
Mr Donald Klaassen, Optometrist and Professional Services Manager, OPSM says “The work VOSO does in the South Pacific is incredible. The donated eye and sun glasses make a significant contribution to the services they are able to provide in remote Pacific Island areas.”
OPSM and Visique Optometrists will continue to collect unwanted eyeglasses and sunglasses over the next few weeks and are encouraging those that haven’t already done so to donate.
Lions Clubs New Zealand would like to extend its appreciation to everyone who supported Lions World Sight Day and to all those New Zealanders who generously donated their glasses.
ENDS

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