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Wisconsin Lions Foundation brings clear sight at home and abroad

Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 5:26 AM CST
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ROSHOLT, Wis. (WSAW) - The Wisconsin Lions Foundation is putting its eyeglass recycling campaign to good use right here in Wisconsin. One of their latest efforts is to provide glasses to Afghan refugees at Fort McCoy.

The Foundation has been collecting used reading glasses for over 30 years. They maintain collection boxes in places like stores, banks and libraries throughout the state.

All of the glasses and even many from out-of-state go to the Lions Camp in Rosholt to be sorted.

“Once they’re processed here they go out to Third World countries on eyeglass missions. We also, recently, have been able to get them to places in the United States,” said Lions Foundation Executive Director Evett Hartvig.

Two employees sort through the thousands of glasses to check the integrity of the lenses and frames. Then they are sent to one of two federal or a state institution where inmates clean them and determine the prescription of each pair.

“The inmates will help us by washing them, and they will read them. We’ve provided them with reading machines. So they will read them, they’ll wash them, they’ll put their prescription on a plastic bag – put each individual pair in a plastic bag with their prescription on them and they’ll also determine whether they’re men’s or women’s,” Hartvig said.

Lions missions are given the glasses free of charge while other missions can receive them for only $15 per box of 50 pairs just to cover costs.

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