Here are some of the instructional phrases we use for dispensing glasses in Spanish.
INSTRUCTIONAL PHRASES FOR DISPENSING
Borroso = Blurry Mas claro = Clearer
Es la primera vez que usted usa lentes? (Is this the first time you have used glasses?)
Es la primera vez que usted usa lentes bifocals? (Is this
the first time you have used bifocal glasses?)
Estos son bifocals y tiene dos partes. (These are bifocals and have two parts.)
La parte de abajo es para ver cosas de cerca, como para leer y coser. (The part below is for seeing things close, such as reading and sewing.)
La parte de arriba es par aver cosas de lejos, como para television y el cine. (The part above is for seeing things far away, such as TV and movies.)
No los use para caminar. (Do not use for walking.)
Necesita un poco de tiempo para acostumbrarse a los bifocals. (You will need a little time to get used to the bifocals.)
Por favor, pongase estos lentes y digame si las cosas alla son mas claras. (Please put these glasses on and tell me if the things over there are clearer.)
Usando la parte de abajo de los lentes, mire a este papel y digame si esta mas claro. No es necesario leer lo. (Using the lower part of the lenses, look at this paper and tell me if it is clearer. It is not necessary to read it.)
Necesita los lentes solamente par aver las cosas de lejos. (You need the glasses only to see things far away.)
Con los lentes, por favor, vaya a numera cuatro (4) por su examen final con el doctor. Gracias. (With the glasses, please go to number 4 for your last exam. Thank you.)
See the latest article from the Lion magazine on the project at Vacaville State Prison. http://mydigimag.rrd.com/publication/?i=141737
Both Warehouse Manager Walter Griffin and PID Dr. Bill Iannacone are looking forward to the April shipments of glasses to our clinics when we start to see the results of having a couple of new sources of newer eyeglasses. Newer glasses mean less of the “big uglies” that populate some of our boxes.
As you can see from the picture here of the “Big Ugly” Contest from our last clinic, we have a few of these glasses that nobody wants. The only thing that would improve the quality of our glasses more will be the day when we start using the blended bifocals we are given rather than the older style bifocals that are getting older and older.
Anyone who is a Lion in a member club is welcome to go on an eyeglass clinic at any time. Member clubs can be scheduled to staff a clinic, but sometimes we still have openings for individual openings at clinics and any Lion in a member club is welcome to fill in as a tech at any time.
On the Thanksgiving mission to Costa Rica we had Lions from Reno, Los Gatos, Danville and Crocket along with relatives of several of the doctors helping to dispense glasses. The door is always open for any Lions Club or individual to join us on a trip. We even have Lions from Missouri filling in on some of our May clinics because they conflict with district conventions in California and Nevada.
If you have any questions about the availability of a clinic please contact Dr. Bill Iannacone at the link on the Lions in Sight website.
One thing that has really been brought home lately is why people appreciate what we do, apart from the thing about being able to see. Watching doctors and techs work with patients you can see the effect of the human touch on patients. It is difficult sometimes when you are processing 800 patients a day to take the extra time to interact with the patients, but when you do, they just light up with a smile.
In Costa Rica I watched one of our docs, Lassa Frank O.D., take a few extra seconds to make sure the bows fit properly on a little old lady’s glasses. Once he touched her to measure the distance between the bow and the ears, then adjusted the glasses to make them more comfortable, she just beamed. There was a big “muchas gracis” at the end of that fitting.
One of the things that many of us have learned is to give even the poorest of patients a little dignity. If you have two or three pair of glasses in the right prescription there is nothing wrong with giving a patient a choice of styles. This allows them to accept charity and keep a little dignity too.
Many of the folks we serve in our clinics are the working poor. We also give glasses to old people and young children, but the bulk of those we serve have jobs and work hard. It is important to show these folks a little kindness and a smile along with their glasses.
Nine doctors and seven techs landed in Costa Rica for the Thanksgiving week and a clinic in Alajuela, a suburb of the capital San Jose. There were four days of clinics with patients seen on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. In all 2,700 people were seen and given glasses or frames. In addition a couple of hundred of patients were referred to the local Lions clubs and their eye clinic for follow up for cataracts or hard to handle prescriptions for glasses.
The Club de Leones Aerpurto Internacional was the lead club for the clinic with help from other local clubs. This 18 member club did yeoman’s work in manning the registration interpreting and coordinating the clinic. Special thanks go to Lion Margarita who housed and fed most of the group in her bed and breakfast as well as filling in as an interpreter when we were short on them. We also had help from two local Leo’s clubs and several bilingual friends and neighbors who were recruited to translate.
We had more doctors than technicians on the trip so the doctors rotated in to the dispensing area and helped out when we were busy. You can certainly learn a lot as a layman when you have a D.O. next to you who can answer questions or interpret a prescription for you.
The doctors and techs had a day in the rainforest and a canopy tour on Wednesday and most of them went rafting or zip lining on Saturday after the clinic before packing up and heading home to their regular lives. Many thanks are due to all who gave of their time and talents and gave up turkey to serve those in need at the clinic.
Eyeglass Distribution Report
In the last fiscal year Lions In Sight has distributed 690,380 pairs of glasses to countries around the world according to Carl Langhorst who coordinates our deliveries from the LIS warehouse. We have sent eyeglasses to Kenya, the Philippines, Guatemala, India, Mexico, Sri Lanka, The Dominican Republic, Peru, Haiti, Ethopia, Ghana, Senegal and Uganda. Most of these have been for our own missions. A few have gone out with doctors we have worked with to other clinics.
In addition to the eight clinics we did in Mexico, we also set up the two permanent clinics in India and the Philippines and did a major clinic trip to Peru. On top of that, we have helped out with several veterans’ stand downs, Remote Area Medical (RAM) programs in Sacramento and Oakland. We also supplied glasses we do not use to the Feed the Children Program who takes many of our dark glasses to distribute in countries in Africa and to the Flying Doctors.
Our two new permanent clinics have been quite successful. Now we need to keep them supplied with glasses! The Kolkata clinic is close to going through the first 100,000 pair of glasses we supplied. We supplied the Lions in Mexico with frames for children’s eyeglasses last year. For Lions in Sight to continue to supply glasses to all of these people in need we will need more glasses from the Lions of California and Nevada.
Please collect all of the glasses you can and let us know so we can collect them from each district. If you have glasses to be brought to the warehouse please call Walter Griffith at (707) 648-2306.
Virginia Postrel contributed an article to Bloomberg News that questioned the logic and efficiency of Eyeglass Recycling Organizations. Ms. Postrel makes some interesting and valid points concerning the cost efficiency of the programs already in existence. As the current Board President of one such organization I would like to share my thoughts on the matter.
Let’s assume I agree with Ms. Postrel’s referenced calculations and assumptions (I don’t but for this illustration, let’s say that I do). America, as a relatively wealthy society, replaces tens of millions of spectacles each year. Many of these glasses (MUCH more than 7%) are perfectly functional glasses in good shape with common optical prescriptions. There are studies, none were referenced, that suggest that as much as 2/3 of the worlds population would benefit from corrective lenses to improve their eyesight. Of that portion of the population, as much as one half of that either has no access to optical care or the cost of the care is such that it is a luxury that they could never afford.
Lions Clubs International is the largest service organization in the world. Lions clubs have dedicated themselves to be Stewards of the visually impaired. Because there are Lions clubs in virtually every community in the world, there are volunteers to contribute their time and efforts to collect and distribute eyeglasses.
One concern voiced by the article referred to the alarmingly low rate of useable glasses. “The researchers ran two real batches of donated spectacles through this process, checking a total of 275 pairs. A mere 23% of the recycled glasses passed the quick first check”. Really? They ran two batches totaling 275 glasses?!!! We have Cub Scout troops that volunteer to do fifteen times that amount in a couple hours. We average closer to 70% perfectly functional glasses in good working order. That total will be reduced again upon final screening to remove pairs that do not conform to our acceptable prescription range. The remaining glasses not deemed usable are transported to a metal recycling center that not only keeps the frames out of landfill sites, but they pay us for the recycled metals. Those funds can then be used for the manufacturing of children’s glasses in our warehouse and help pay our operational expenses which are kept quite low due to being a 100% voluntary organization.
The most compelling argument made in the Bloomberg piece, in my opinion, was the cost of transporting glasses. Using their model were you to mail, what was it, 275 pair of glasses at premium shipping cost ($78 per 100 pair), I agree, that is not cost affective. Who does that?! I can’t speak for every organization, but it is rare that someone would ship, by post, any quantity of bulk, un-sorted glasses. Our foundation has representatives all over the two state area that we serve. Each volunteer representative collects the donated glasses in one central location where they either deliver it to our warehouse or make arrangements for them to be collected.
Our warehouse manager takes a truck and trailer around a few times a year to collect as many as 100,000 + pair at a time for the cost of a couple tanks of gas and a motel room (less than a penny a pair).Our foundation, on average, collects about 750,000 pairs of donated glasses each year. From that we conduct about a dozen clinic trips per year where we provide a complete eye exam from licensed Optometrists to approximately 18,000 underprivileged patients in developing countries. On top of that, we just opened our 63rd Permanent clinic located in Kolkata, India. We start out each Permanent clinic with 100,000 pairs of bulk donated glasses and all the equipment and training needed to operate their own recycling clinic to serve their local community.
There may be more cost effective ways to do the things that we do. Bottom line, we have developed a worldwide network dedicated to providing perfectly functional medical devices to those who desperately need it and have limited access to it. There is an enormous demand for this service. We are barely scratching the surface of the worldwide need; there is plenty of room for additional organizations to provide a more efficient model. Please do so. At the same time please spend less of your efforts criticizing our process and discouraging our support.
President-Board of Directors
Lions In Sight Of California & Nevada
Going on a Lions in Sight Mission is not a right but a privilege. All 18 of us (8 Optometrists and 10 Technicians) certainly felt that way as we made our way to Lima, Peru to serve the poor. The Mission to Peru has to rank as one of the best Missions that the Lions In Sight have ever conducted. How can you possibly beat serving 4800 Peruvians over a four day period and then go to one of the Seven Wonders of the World – Machu Pichu.
We served 4800 Peruvians over a four day period which translates to 150 patients per doctor per day. This amazing statistic is even more amazing as Dr Pond was ill with “Delhi Belly”( a far tamer version is Montezuma’s revenge) for one of the days and yet continued to work the usual 12 hours every day. Dr John Demshar ( lead doctor for the Mission) seemed to disagree with the total Peruvians served but then we had to remind him that he is an Optometrist and not an accountant!!
Every great event has to start with the idea that finally germinates and grows to fulfillment and this is where our Chief Operating Officer, Dr Bill Iannacone absolutely shines. I challenge anyone who knows more Lions on this planet than he does. He got in touch with Lion Gina , a Lion in Peru , who he had met years ago as a teenager and the ball soon got rolling. Eight doctors were soon signed up with stellar work done by the two lead Doctors – Dr. Demshar and Dr Sarver. Lion Gina soon got the Lions of Machu Pichu organized and the trip of a lifetime soon came into fruition.
I could go on and on but here are the excerpts from some team members in their own words.
From Doctor Solanky – a first timer for a Lions In Sight Mission
Even though I have been on missions before Lima, I have to say that this was one of the best missions by far. Not only was it a successful mission, but every single person I met was such a pleasure to work with. We were a cohesive team. Being that this was my first mission with the Lions Club and most of the team knew each other, you would think I would have felt a little out of place at times. However, not once did this happen. I felt like part of the family from the moment I arrived. Even the Lions Club of Lima and all the volunteers were just so wonderful! The whole experience went so smoothly, and everything was very organized. Thank you for a great experience, and thank you Bill and John for inviting me on this mission. I hope to see each and everyone of you on another mission, and I have already told my other OD friends about this great organization
From Doctor Catchatoorian – Another first timer for a Lions In Sight Mission
Thanks to all for a rewarding experience. The organization and leadership was impressive. Looking forward to see everyone on future trips.
From Elizabeth Miller – Technician
Although I have only done 2 Mexico missions with Bob and enjoyed them both tremendously they in no way prepared me for this one. We both keep saying to each other and all of our friends here this was one of the best experiences we have ever had. This clinic was amazing and so gratifying for me. The way everyone on the teams worked hard but always kept a positive attitude made it fun to be there every day. Our off time was a blast and the trip to Cusco and Machu Picchu were just icing on the cake.
My only question is “how did you manage to get such a great group of people together on one trip?”
We would be honored to be included on any other missions you have planned .
Do I need to say more ?