The New Look of Lions in Sight

Lions in Sight is not only collecting and disturbing eyeglasses to developing countries, but we are now actively involved in more community events.

 

We are providing new eyeglasses and readers to the Veterans through the concept of the “Military Stand Down.” For several years, Lions clubs have provided the meals. Lions in Sight is now working with the Veterans Administration with vision care and have been able to assist 350 veterans at each of the stand downs.

We have been involved with the stand downs in Ventura, Pleasanton, Santa Cruz and Watsonville

Lions in Sight continues to work with the Lions Center for the Visually Impaired, the Homeless Shelter in Stockton and the Homeless Connect in San Francisco in providing new readers at their vision screenings.

Lions, we need your continued support in collected used eyeglasses. We are distributing over 400,000 pairs a year on our missions to Mexico, Peru, Haiti, Dominican Republic and Armenia. Last year, we were down in our collection numbers, so please, get a collection box. Remember the boxes are free.

The warehouse continues to be open on the 1st Wednesday and Thursday of every month in the evenings. Arrangements can be made for club, zone or region sorting project. This is an easy way to meet new Lions, introduce potential members to a fantastic hands on project.

 

Remember, to collect those used eyeglasses so that you can help give the gift of sight to the world.

 

 

Walter C Griffin

Lions in Sight of CA/NV

1st Vice President

 

 

 

 

Category: General

Permanent Clinic in Armenia

Lions in Sight is working with leaders in the Armenian community in the United States to help set up a permanent clinic in Yerevan, Armenia. Dr. Corina Van de Pol is working with Adrian Tatarakis to get the proper equipment for the clinic. The target date for opening the clinic is early next year.

In 2014 we had a clinic mission to Armenia that went very well and we the Armenian community in California has been working to raise funds to have a permanent clinic to provide glasses for those in need in their country.

Lion Vincent De Santis is working on establishing a partnership with the Armenian Lions and assisting on coordinating the project. The project has been done with the help of the NW Glendale Lions, ARDA, and Robert and Traci Mancini as well as Adrian who has been our contact with Vision Services Plan for years.

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Board Meeting Notes and Highlights

Currently being worked on

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Clinic Pictures Please!

Gang, please send me any pictures and information on your clinics. We would love to show anyone, especially those who have never gone before what a clinic looks like and something about the people we serve. Send any pictures and information to cdmsr@pacbell.net so we post the best of your photos.

 

We know just how difficult it is to take pictures when you are seeing 100 people per doctor per day and dispensing that many glasses. Please do the best you can at snapping a picture or two when you get a lull.

 

Category: General

Twenty-three New Member Clubs

As a result of our recent invitation for clubs to join Lions in Sight we have twenty-three new member clubs in California. Welcome, or in some cases welcome back. Since the mailing in Nevada just went out a few days ago we are still waiting to hear from our Nevada Clubs.

 

Our new member clubs are: Bethel Island, Burbank Noon, Delta, El Camino, Enterprise, Escalon, Garrotte, Gravestine Sebastapol, Grass Valley, Kings, Lions of West Marin, Livermore, Napa Berryessa, Oakley Delta, Oroville Ophir, Rancho Santee, Reedley, Round Mountain, Saratoga, Scotts Valley, Scot Valley, Sonoma Valley of the Moon and Sunnyvale Host.

 

We value all of our clubs and welcome their participation. Welcome or welcome back to the new clubs. If you need collection boxes or a program on Lions in Sight, please let us know.

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Mission to the Dominican Republic

MY LIONS TRIP TO THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
By Arthur Low, O.D.

Almost every year for the last 11 years, I have made a Lions In Sight trip to Latin America in November. But this year is the first time the destination was not in Mexico for me. Actually, there are 10-11 trips every year sponsored by LIS and usually 1 or 2 are in countries other than Mexico. LIS has held eye clinics in Africa, Turkey, India, Philippines, Peru, Panama, and many other countries. In fact, there will be a trip to Ghana in 2016. Every trip is unique and the team has to be flexible and work with whatever the situation dictates.

This year’s trip was a big one, consisting of 8 optometrists and 13 technicians/translators. One of the volunteer translators was Cynthia Dodd, principal at Rolling Hills Middle School and City of Campbell Planning Commission member. Her fluency in Spanish came in handy and this trip was her second one with me. Another couple from this area was Chris and Lee Morris from San Jose. But instead of two clinic days, we had four clinic days with one day off in between. It was a very successful clinic in that we saw 3900 patients and dispensed over 3000 pairs of eyeglasses. But the team faced some challenges.

First of all, when we surveyed the clinic site the day before set up, the place was filthy, with bird droppings on the floor, and very dusty. We were not even sure that the few electrical outlets worked. Good thing that we had a drought in California and were used to flushing the toilet with buckets of saved shower water because that was how it was done there. By the next day, the local Lions had done a credible job of cleaning the place but still no running water. And there was electricity only some of the time to power the fans to cool us down in the 85 degree weather.

The main issue on day one of the clinic was that LIS had sent 7000 pairs of eyeglasses to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic a week before the clinic but they were still stuck in customs. Luckily, there were a few hundred pairs of eyeglasses left over from the Haiti trip in March 2015. So some of the morning patients had to come back to get dispensed the proper prescription. Luckily, the eyeglasses arrived in the afternoon.

We probably saw a few hundred school age children and most of them had good vision and did not need a prescription. However, when told they had “good eyes,” they had this long face and were disappointed. After waiting all that time in line, they wanted something. Fortunately, I had brought some pens with me to give them and we also had some non prescription sunglasses for them as well.

As with the clinics in Mexico, there were many older patients who had never had any eyecare whatsoever so many reading glasses were dispensed. In fact, we almost ran out of some powers. One disappointing fact was that the local Lions were not able to arrange for cataract surgeries for those who needed it and there were a few dozen people who could have used it.

The nice thing about going on Lions In Sight clinic trips vs trips arranged by other groups is that we are hosted by a local Lions Club who are responsible for feeding and housing us. The accommodations are usually adequate, about 3- stars, and the food pretty good. But on this trip, the food at the restaurant in the hotel was NOT good. It was salty and the meat was almost like beef jerky. One day, we went into town to find better food instead of eating at the hotel. And guess what, there was an upscale Denny’s there. Boy, did that grand slam taste good! And the bathroom was like one at a 5 star hotel.

The major negative incident on this trip was that one of the docs had to stay almost an extra week recuperating in a hospital. Usually the worse illness that happens on these trips is a couple of days of GI distress either from too much tequila or drinking non bottled water. All of us got mosquito bites but Dr. John Demshar got bitten by one that was carrying the Dengue Fever virus. He started getting sick on the last day of clinic and most of us decided to stay an extra three days after the clinic at a resort in Puncta Cana, about 3 hours away by bus. When his symptoms did not get better and his temperature stayed at 102, he was taken to a nearby hospital where the diagnosis was quickly made. Since the disease was caused by a virus, there were no antibiotic drugs to help. Treatment consisted of an IV drip to hydrate the body so that the immune system can better fight the virus. The hospital was actually quite nice because we were out of Santo Domingo and in a resort area that caters to “gringos.” In case you were wondering, the stay at the hospital was paid by Lions In Sight, another good reason to go with them. It was also very nice of one of the techs, Paul Wagner, a retired school administrator, to stay with Dr. Demshar until he was stabilized enough to travel. I am sure that Dr. Demshar will soon be going on more trips in the coming year.

Please visit lionsinsight.org to learn more about these trips and don’t forget to save your used eyeglasses to donate to us. We have collection boxes at the Campbell Denny’s on 2060 South Bascom Av., my office on 621 East Campbell Av. and soon in many local Starbucks.

Category: General

Working on Soledad and High Desert Prisions

We are working on putting a proposal together to get an eyeglass sorting program back in Soledad Prison in the near future. Lion Allen King is a Lieutenant at the prison and will be working to help get the project approved. We will be looking to help raise part of the money for the program in the district along with a grant from Lions Clubs International Fund to buy the lensometers for the program.

Some Lions will remember that we had an outstanding program at Soledad Prison before. Going back will benefit both eyeglass recycling and the prisoners at the same time. We have existing programs at Avenal and Vacaville prisons and a new program that hopefully will come on line next year at the High Desert Prison in Nevada. We also work with the folks in District 4-C5 and sometimes get glasses from The Folsom Project.

Look for more on these projects as they come on line in the future. Having more hands helping in more places is a big help. We sometimes get slowdowns at different prisons as folks get paroled, or facilities go on lockdown. With two new places coming on line in the future we will not only increase our capacity to recycle glasses and even out any slowdowns.

Category: General

Director and Advisor Responsibilities

One of the things I talked about at the annual meeting was the obligation of directors and advisors to work for Lions in Sight. If we look at the list of the clubs making donations to the organizations and the clubs collecting eyeglasses for our missions it is obvious that some of our folks clubs are not participating with us. The time has come for everyone to look to their commitment and if they are with us!

One of my mentors, Bro. Norbert Korte SJ taught me about being a board member of a non-profit organization. Bro. Korte asked me if I understood about the three R’s. Of course those are Reading, wRiting and ‘Righmitic! Bro. then told me about the three G’s of non-profit boards. “You Give, you Get or you Go.” We don’t want to lose anyone, but the time has come for everyone to look at their commitment to LIS.

Chris Morris

President, Lions in Sight

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Eyeglasses for Locals in Need

This week we had a Lion come over to the warehouse to pick up reading glasses and sunglasses for a homeless program in Santa Cruz. While Lions in Sight is known more for the overseas missions we do we also support a number of local programs for people in need in California and Nevada.

When anyone contacts us about a Veteran’s Stand Down we try to help. This summer we supplied glasses to veteran’s programs in Monterey and Alameda Counties. We have been supporting the stand downs for the past several years. LIS has also been supporting glasses for the homeless in San Francisco for several years. We try to use our new “readers” for these programs.

If you know of someone who needs glasses for a program to help veterans or the homeless go ahead and contact us to see if we have glasses and can help.

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Successful Financial Review

Last year we had a successful audit, so the board chose to have a CPA do a financial review this year. The results of the review were favorable as was the reaction of the accountant to Lions in Sight moving to QuickBooks for as our accounting program. If anyone wants a copy of the review, please contact either COO Dr. Bill Iannaccone or President Chris Morris and we would be happy to send you a copy.

 

Category: General