Sentinel Handbook

Tips for security, safety, and crime prevention volunteers

Community Service: Gift of Sight Project – 2013

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English: A pair of reading glasses with LaCost...

English: A pair of reading glasses with LaCoste frames. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The idea for,”Gift of Sight”, came to me in the summer of 2011, after two accidental medication overdoses in my hometown in which the patients had misread their prescription bottles. I realized that a simple pair of reading glasses may have prevented those incidents. It was while researching reading glass programs that I learned just how useful an affordable pair of reading glasses (often called cheaters) could be for many people in the local community.

My wife and I decided we’d purchase reading glasses in bulk and distribute them to local libraries, nursing homes, and senior centers, in an effort to help those with poor eyesight. Even children can benefit from having affordable reading glasses if they are unable to afford prescription glasses.

Reading glasses, contrary to popular myth, do not damage eyes. They are acceptable for everyday reading, though not for ranged vision. Just one simple pair of glasses can save a life by preventing an accidental overdose, help someone pass their GED, or bring the joy of reading to a low income child. People of all ages can use them to see well enough to read books, magazines, newspapers, prescription bottles, computer screens, and textbooks.

We decided to avoid Dollar Store glasses because mass produced bargain glasses often have unwanted lenses distortions. A little online research turned up affordable lots for sale of glasses with higher quality lenses. Eventually we found a supplier that had made glasses for the Target store chain, that was promoting a drive to provide better bargain glasses at a lower price, at the time. The glasses we eventually purchased checked out to be more than satisfactory for our needs.

For about $65 plus shipping and handling, we were able to purchase 100 pairs of eyeglasses, at an average of 65 cents a pair! Granted they weren’t the most stylish of eyeglasses, but they were quality made and free of defects. We then donated them FREE of charge to organizations in our community that could get them to those that need them. You can’t put a price on quality of life and helping your neighbors.

My wife and I did this in honor of my mother, who loved to read. Mom believed that reading was the key to opening new doors to those to whom they might otherwise remain closed. We hope to continue doing this whenever we have the personal funds to do so.

In the last two years, we have given out around 200 pairs of glasses to those in need. This year, we hope to distribute 100 more, if not double that in connection with other organizations outside our local area.


Written by Silver Sentinel

April 16, 2013 at 8:08 pm

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