If you've got old glasses that you no longer use, of course you can order new lenses for them from Mr Foureyes. Your old glasses frames can also find new life helping out someone in the Pacific.
In 1925, Lions Clubs International accepted Helen Keller's challenge to become "Knights of the Blind." Lions are now involved with many sight-related programmes worldwide, particularly in third world countries. Collecting up old spectacles for re-use in the Pacific Islands is an on-going project for New Zealand Lions.
The Lions Club of Christchurch Ferrymead has been a New Zealand pioneer - they report:
"In the past 25 years we estimate we have handled more than 38,000 pairs per year and send some 2,100 optical pairs plus about 280 pairs of sunglasses to [Volunteer Opthalmic Services Overseas] each year. Amazingly, two of the team of six working on this project are original members of the start-up team from 25 years ago."
When donated glasses arrive at the club, they have an extensive check for wear and tear, damaged lenses or frames, and any multi-focal or bi-focal lenses (which cannot generally be re-used because it is too hard to match the prescription). If the spectacles pass that test (about 10% of the total), they are then cleaned in an ultrasonic bath and the lenses are checked with a Topcon Digital lens meter. They are then packed (with the lens readings) and dispatched to Volunteer Opthalmic Services, currently based at Auckland Hospital, for sending to the Pacific Islands.
A Lensmeter is used to check the prescription of some donated glasses
Mr Foureyes founder Ravi Dass is very familiar with the process, as a long-standing Volunteer Opthalmic Services Overseas member and past secretary. He has been on many volunteer trips to the Pacific, and he comments:
"It is so rewarding to be able to provide vision to someone who otherwise wouldn't have had access to it. We find many people also really like to know that their old glasses can be put to good use. While we can't use every pair that is donated, the process does still rely on these donations."
You can drop frames into most optometrists for distribution. You can also send any old glasses frames or sunglasses direct to one of the Lions Clubs:
Lion Neil Pugh,
P O Box 10 187 Phillipstown,
Eyeglasses for Recycling by the Papakura Lions Club
C/- Selwyn Homestead
21 Youngs Rd
The Blood Donation Centre on Lake Road, Takapuna, also has a collection box on their desk.
Wellington: Karori Lions Club accepts donations from the Wellington region. Drop-off points include:
Karori Visique Optometrists, 262 Karori Road
Thorndon New World, Murphy Street – Box on right by exit door
Johnsonville Spec Savers, Johnsonville Mall
Lower Hutt Spec Savers, Westfield Queensgate Plaza – 1st floor
Lower Hutt Black Gates Meek Optometrists, Andrew Ave
Wainuiomata Visique Optometrists, Wainuiomata Mall
Petone Visique Optometrists, 245 Jackson Street
City Spec Savers, 168 Lambton Quay
City McClellan & Grimmer, 131 Featherston Street
City Visique Optometrists, Rock Shop Plaza Manners Mall
City Wellington City New World, Wakefield Street – box by exit door
Mr Foureyes will also accept donated frames and will provide them to Lions on your behalf.
Comments will be approved before showing up.
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