January 16th – Eyeglass Cleaning Project

Submitted by Lion Ellsworth Fujii

The Lions and the Leo Clubs in Hawaii participate in the world’s largest collection of used eyeglasses to help those in need improve their vision.

Throughout the year, several Hawaii Kai Lion members picked up used eyeglasses from various businesses that collected them from their customers who dropped off used prescription and nonprescription glasses, sunglasses and hearing aids. Clean used eyeglasses are sent to a recycling center in Vallejo, CA where they are processed and distributed overseas to areas in need.

On beautiful Sunday, January 16, 8 Hawaii Kai Lions and 8 Kaiser High School Leos (including advisor Gordon Chun) met at Kaiolohia Way Park at 9:00 am for the Eyeglass Recycling project. This was the first in-person project between the Lions and Leos this year and everyone wore masks.  The Lions set up Cynthia’s tent next to the park’s pavilion to protect us from the sun.  Some Leos then sorted and selected only reusable glasses, while everyone else cleaned the 1,141 eyeglasses and packed them in shipping boxes.  Lions who helped with the project were Lions Jeanne Alices, Kendrick Chang, Cynthia Chun, Yolisa Ishibashi, Marja Leivo, Frances Lum, Ken Nishibun, and Ellsworth Fujii.

Non-prescription sunglasses were placed in a separate box and will be given to foreign fishermen who are at sea for months and can’t afford to buy sunglasses.

Thank you to the Lions who collected and stored eyeglasses from the various stores and optometrists throughout the year. 

Following pandemic protocols, everyone left after the work was done. 

Six boxes of recycled eyeglasses were dropped off at DHX on Monday.

Thank you to Cynthia who made oatmeal cookies for the volunteers!