GATHERING GLASSES — Jim Krezmien of the Springville Lions helped collect eyeglasses from local residents to be sent to people who cannot afford them.
SPRINGVILLE — The Lions Club of Springville collects eyeglasses all year long, as part of its stated mission to “prevent blindness, restore eyesight and improve eye health and eye care for hundreds of millions of people worldwide,” according to the Lions Club International website. The Springville club recently collected approximately 5,000 pairs of eyeglasses at its Lions Den, located on North Street.
On Nov. 1, Henry Farner drove to Tonawanda to deliver the collected glasses to the Lions Regional Collection Center. These glasses will be sent to countries around the world and distributed to people who cannot afford to purchase eyeglasses.
“We’re only a small piece of a whole, big pie,” explained Farner, who has been participating in this endeavor for approximately 10 years, as long as he has been a club member. “There are a couple thousand clubs that collect; we just do our own, little part.”
The Springville Lions has been participating in the eyeglasses collection drive since the club was started, approximately 50 years ago. Boxes are set up at local eyeglass offices and businesses, and, in the past, schools have also gotten involved.
The club will accept any type of prescription glasses, according to Jim Krezmien, a Lions Club member who has been involved in the venture since he joined the club, approximately 25 years ago.
“We just want the glasses, not the cases,” he said, noting that, when glasses do come in with cases, the club must discard the cases. “We take them, they get sent to the people who need them and, far as I know, they just fit them to the people and see if they can see. It’s as simple as that, and does a lot of good for people.”
Krezmien said that the club takes the glasses to the regional center every few years, before the stock at the club’s den becomes “unmanageable. “We had five or six boxes full,” he said. “Every time we feel it needs to be done, we talk about it at a meeting and someone volunteers to take care of it.”
Lions Clubs International is the world’s largest service club organization, with more than 1.3 million members in 45,000 clubs in 205 countries and geographical areas.
For more information, contact Lion President Barry Edwards at email@example.com
To donate eyeglasses, look for the donation boxes located in area businesses.