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REGIONAL — The Ayer-Shirley Lions Club is asking people to look through drawers and closets for old, unwanted eyeglasses and donate them to the “Lions Recycle for Sight” program.

During the coming months the Ayer-Shirley Lions Club will be collecting used prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses as part of a unique recycling program, taking place throughout the United States and Canada. The glasses will be distributed to those in need in developing countries, where eye care is often unaffordable and inaccessible. “We need everyone to donate their old glasses,” said Russ Smith, Lions Club president. “In most developing countries, an eye exam can cost as much as one month’s wages and a single eye doctor may serve a community of hundreds of thousands of people.”

The glasses will be delivered to LensCrafters, who in turn will ship them to one of their regional centers where they will be cleaned, categorized by prescription and prepared for distribution by Lions and other groups. According to the World Health Organization, the eyesight of approximately one-fourth of the world’s population can be improved through the use of a corrective lens. To donate used eyeglasses, place them in a specially-marked “Lions Recycle for Sight” collection bin located at Nashoba Valley Medical Center, North Middlesex Savings Bank in Ayer and Shirley, Moore Lumber Co. in Ayer or in a yellow postal box outside the Ayer Post Office.

The Lions of Massachusetts hope to collect a large number of eyeglasses this year to assist those in need of vision correction. These recycled eyeglasses will provide clear vision to those who otherwise would go without.

Please join us by donating your old eyeglasses. Simply drop them in one the marked collection boxes or contact Deb McDowell, eyeglasses recycling chairman at (978) 772-3306, or any member of the Ayer-Shirley Lions Club.