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Unused Eyeglasses And Sunglasses Urgently Needed

Unused Eyeglasses And Sunglasses Urgently Needed

Lions World Sight Day is being acknowledged with the support of Visique Optometrists and OPSM on Thursday 23 October. Help Lions Clubs New Zealand mark Lions World Sight Day in New Zealand. Dig-out any unwanted prescription glasses, reading glasses and sunglasses.

To celebrate Lions World Sight Day, Lions Clubs New Zealand is asking all New Zealanders to dig out their old and unused eyeglasses and sunglasses and deliver them to their nearest OPSM store or Visique Optometrist during the week of Monday 20 October to Sunday 26 October.

The glasses will be cleaned and graded at one of two Lions Clubs eyeglass recycling centres, and distributed to areas in New Zealand by Lions clubs and to the South Pacific by Voluntary Ophthalmic Services Overseas (VOSO), a New Zealand wide charity that provides eye examinations and surgery to South Pacific nations.

“The campaign could not have come at a better time,” says Ron Lawrence, Chief Executive Officer for Lions Clubs New Zealand. “Both eyeglass recycling centres have depleted their stocks of glasses. More are urgently needed for work to be completed by VOSO and Lions clubs.”

Last year Lions Clubs New Zealand, with the support of OPSM and Visique Optometrists, collected 15,500 pairs of spectacles.

“OPSM and Visique Optometrists have again partnered with Lions Clubs New Zealand to ensure that the sight preservation message is heard and understood by New Zealanders. New Zealanders will be encouraged to have their eyes checked during the week, as well as drop off their unused glasses to an OPSM store or Visique Optometrist,” says Mr Lawrence.

Preserving sight has been central to Lions’ volunteerism and fundraising activities worldwide, ever since 1925 when Helen Keller issued a challenge to Lions Clubs to become the “knights of the blind”. For the month of October, Lions members around the world are running sight-related activities to conquer preventable blindness and preserve sight.

(ends) For further information contact: Tracy Dillimore 04 382 6606

About Lions Sight Activities: In 1990, Lions established SightFirst, a US $140 million global initiative to rid the world of preventable and reversible blindness. Since then Lions has funded over 136 eye clinics and hospitals, provided more than 3 million cataract surgeries, given 36 million treatments to prevent river blindness, screened more than six million patients for eye disease, and trained more than 13,000 eye care professionals.

In addition to the SightFirst program, Lions clubs continue to support other sight-related activities by providing 600,000 free professional glaucoma screenings and 20,000 corneal transplants each year, establishing and supporting a majority of the world’s eye banks, hundreds of clinics, hospitals and eye research centers worldwide. They also collect more than five million pairs of old, unwanted eyeglasses for distribution in developing countries and provide thousands each year with free quality eye care, eyeglasses, Braille-writers, large print texts, white canes and guide dogs.

Recycle for Sight has been a core focus of New Zealand Lions activities for many years, as has been the relationship with VOSO The country’s two eyeglass recycling units were established and are operated by Lions clubs in Auckland and Christchurch.

Lions Clubs International is the world’s largest service club organisation, with 1.4 million members in 190 countries and territories around the world. In New Zealand there are more than 500 clubs with nearly 13,000 members. Lions clubs throughout the country have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars and hours in improving conditions for their local communities. Worldwide the organisation has shown a strong commitment to preserving sight, promoting health, overcoming disabilities and serving youth.

OPSM is now one of the world’s optical retailers with over 600 outlets in New Zealand, Australia and across Asia. “Our group is over 70 years strong and we want to continue to give those less privileged than ourselves a gift they will never forget. Your eyes are so important, and if we can help those people see better when they can't afford full eye care, we are only too happy to help Lions to help them,” says John Gimpel, OPSM's NZ General Manager. OPSM has been involved with OPSM since its inception in New Zealand. OPSM stores are conveniently located all over New Zealand, and you can contact OPSM on 0800 MY OPSM (0800 696 776), or at www.opsm.com.au.

Visique is a national network of over 100 independent optometrists committed to providing the best eye health care and eyewear solutions in New Zealand. As part of this commitment Visique is dedicated to educating New Zealander’s about the importance of taking care of their eyes to ensure healthy eyes and good vision for life. Visique Optometrists have been involved with Lion’s World Sight Day for the past few years. For your nearest Visique Optometrist call 0800 VISIQUE (0800 847 478) or www.visique.co.nz.

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