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October 21, 2009 > Halloween celebration with a difference

Halloween celebration with a difference

By Meenu Gupta
Photos By courtesy of Ray Maglalang

Milpitas Executive Lions Club (MELC) celebrates Halloween in a different way. Volunteers will canvass neighborhoods to collect used eyewear during trick-or-treat hours. The used eyewear will be recycled by OneSight and Lions Clubs International and hand delivered to those in need around the world. "Sight Night gives children and adults a tangible way to participate in a global act of kindness on Halloween," said Ray Maglalang, Vice District Governor District 4-C6. "Our efforts will change lives. Some people who receive this eyewear may now be able to work or see the board in school because of their improved eyesight."

The World Health Organization estimates that 250 million people around the world have uncorrected refractive errors, more commonly known as near-sightedness, far-sightedness, and astigmatism. Refractive errors can be easily diagnosed, measured and corrected with eyeglasses, yet millions of people in developing countries do not have access to these basic services. Individuals and families are frequently pushed into a cycle of deepening poverty because of their inability to see well.

Lions Clubs International and OneSight together present sight night. The world's largest service club organization with 1.3 million members worldwide, Lions Clubs International collects as many as four to five million recycled eyeglasses every year and sends them to South America, Asia and Africa. The Lions Eyeglasses Recycling Program was adopted as an official service activity of Lions Clubs International in October 1994. There are about three million recipients who received those glasses every year.

During its ten years, more than 150,000 community volunteers have participated in Sight Night, collecting more than one million pair of used eyewear. There are 17 official Lions Eyeglass Recycling Centers in the world, nine in the U.S., one each in Australia, Canada, France, Italy, Republic of South Africa, and Spain. Lions volunteer their time and services to prepare the eyeglasses for distribution, cleaning and classifying each pair by prescription. Participate in person or as a group and turn in your collected eyewear to local Lions club. Find a store near you at www.lionsclubs.org.

OneSight, dedicated to improving vision for those in need worldwide, sponsors Global Optical Clinics to address the worldwide need for eye care. The non-profit's outreach programs include the hand-delivery of vision care and eyewear to those in need. Since 1988, OneSight outreach efforts have helped more than seven million people around the world see more clearly through two former programs, Give the Gift of Sight and Community I-Care. OneSight research and education efforts have granted millions towards research and education through the former program, the Pearle Vision Foundation. Luxottica Group employees, affiliated and independent doctors, vendors, donors and other charitable partners worldwide, work together to give the gift of sight to those in need. Luxottica Group, a global leader in eyewear, provides inspiration for OneSight and it is the organization's main sponsor. For more information visit www.onesight.org.

If the volunteers don't make it to your house on Sight Night, you may drop-off used eyewear anytime at LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, Sears Optical, Target Optical, Sunglass Hut, local Lions clubs or participating eye doctors in your community. To participate or donate, contact Mila Garcia at (408) 946-5639, or Steve at (408) 262-9691, Thelma Batilo (408) 772-1432. To collect used eyewear on Sight Night, visit www.sightnight.org or call 1-888-935-4589. "Look for your used prescription eyeglasses and non-prescription sunglasses around your home or office," said Steve Sukovez of MELC. "Whether they're big or small, chic or not, your eyewear could help someone in a developing country see the world more clearly."

Sight Night
Saturday, October 31
(408) 946 5639
www.sightnight.org

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