October 29, 2008 > Make a difference this Halloween
Make a difference this Halloween
By Meenu Gupta
Milpitas Executive Lions Club celebrated America's largest day of doing good, Make a Difference Day, on October 25. Make a Difference Day is observed the fourth Saturday in October. The largest national day of helping others is a celebration of neighbors helping neighbors. The community get-together was hosted by the club at Milpitas Murphy Park on Yellowstone Avenue. Lions Club International is the world's largest service club organization with 1.4 million members in more than 44,500 clubs in 185 countries. A free health checkup was conducted, including blood pressure checkup, blood sugar testing and informative brochures were also distributed. Milpitas Food Pantry provided barrels for donations of blankets, jackets, sleeping bags, beddings, non-perishable food, good clothes and shoes. Used eyeglasses, sunglasses, hearing aids, cell phones and pull-tabs were accepted.
It all started as an idea of Marcia Bullard, CEO & Editor of USA Weekend magazine. In 1992, the publication promoted the concept of setting aside a day to do something nice for your neighbors. The idea became a huge success when over 70,000 people across the country volunteered in their hometown communities. Since then, now for over a decade, that number has grown up to 3 million people helping more than 25 million people every year. "Make a Difference Day is not just a scheduled event or activity, but a moment anytime when a person finds it in his or her heart to do something good, to care or to share, or to make a voluntary contribution to another individual, a community or our societies," said Leah Orfrecio-Facun, Make a Difference Community coordinator and author of Today's S.O.S. (Secrets of Survival). She is a former registered nurse, public educator, entrepreneur, community health advocate and volunteer. If you participated on October 25 you could win a volunteer vacation to the destination of your choice. Travelocity is sponsoring a "Picture a Better World" contest for USA Weekend's Make a difference day. Send in one photo of your volunteer action while you were helping your community on Make a Difference Day. Find out more at www.makeadifferenceday.com.
There is another day to make a difference. The Lions Clubs announced their "Sight Night" event on Friday, October 31. "We encourage people to give used eyewear instead of candy on Halloween night," said Ray Maglalang, Lions Club host. Give the Gift of Sight Foundation and Lions Clubs International together present Sight Night.
Give the Gift of Sight is a family of charitable programs providing free vision care and eyewear to underprivileged individuals in North America and in developing countries around the world. Partners with Give the Gift of Sight include: LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, Sears Optical, Target Optical, EyeMed Vision Care, Sunglass Hut, Lions Clubs International and thousands of community charities.
If the volunteers don't make it to your house on Sight Night, used eyewear is accepted anytime at LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, Sears Optical, Target Optical, and Milpitas Executive Lions Clubs.
Each year on Sight Night, volunteers collect used eyewear by trick-or-treating. Lions clubs have been collecting and recycling used eyewear for more than 70 years. All the eyewear collected is then cleaned, repaired and hand-delivered to underprivileged people in developing countries who couldn't otherwise afford them. "We also collect sunglasses, they are good for the blind as they prevent eye-burn. Our volunteers will pick up the glasses, just make a call and tell us where you are located," said Maglalang. Participate in person or as a group and turn in your collected eyewear to local Lions clubs. Find a store near you at: www.lionsclubs.org. This is the tenth annual Sight Night. Since the program began in 1999, more than 1,000,000 pairs of eyewear have been collected - enough to help approximately 30,000 people on 30 separate missions! In 2008, the goal is to recycle 1.2 million pairs of used eyewear. Participate in the noble cause as you trick-or-treat this Halloween.
To participate or donate Contact: Thelma Batilo at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ray Maglalang at (408) 262-8425, and visit http://www.sightnight.org/
Friday, October 31