Since 2005, AFL-CIO Community Services has teamed with the three area Lions Clubs to distribute glasses to adults without insurance or medical assistance. Because of the program, more than 2,560 people have applied for glasses through the program – glasses critical for work, injury avoidance and optic health.
- Nearly 1,400 people have been given a pair of glasses through the program.
- It is a group effort: Clients apply for the program through the agency. Family Guidance provides funding for the eye exams. Local optometrists provide the exams and fit the clients with glasses. The three Lions Clubs fund it as a group cause.
- In 2021, 56 people applied for new glasses and 31 received a pair of glasses at a value of $2,889.
In 2014, the St Joseph Host Lions Club awarded the Edwin Dalstrom Distinguished Service Award to the agency for our commitment to help make this program possible.
However, without the funding Lions Clubs provide, many people in the community would have to go without eyeglasses. The agency decided the partnership would be well worth the time when compared to the benefits the recipients would gain. In 2008, an additional partner to the program was Family Guidance. They provide the funding for eye exams. Since the beginning, it has been a good relationship with the Lions Clubs and later with Family Guidance, and we plan to continue working with them to offer this valuable service.