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Eyeglass donations sought for ‘Lions recycle for sight’ initiative

Don’t throw away that old pair of glasses.

The Cutchogue Lions Club is seeking donations of eyeglasses as part of their “Lions recycle for sight” initiative.

Chapter secretary Jay Brown asked Southold Town Board members at a work session Tuesday for permission to place a receptacle at the Peconic Lane Community Center to collect worn eyeglasses.

“We’re looking for places where people congregate,” Mr. Brown said, explaining that the community center is a central place where groups of all ages meet.

Currently, the group collects glasses in two cardboard boxes around town, but recently acquired an old U.S. Post Office mailbox that was used as a book drop at the Bayport-Blue Point Library, Mr. Brown said.

Vision is one of the organization’s global causes.

“The Cutchogue club has really taken that on,” Mr. Brown said. “We do free eye screenings, we’ve been going into public schools, nursery schools, the head start program and we also have free eyeglass programs.”

The World Health Organization estimates that 120 million people are visually impaired, usually with errors that are easily corrected with eyeglasses or contact lenses. But many lack access to these services.

Under this program, glasses are collected and sent to a recycling facility in New Jersey where they are cleaned and sorted. Then, the glasses are dispersed to groups that take them overseas, Mr. Brown said.

“They go to people who can use them,” he said.

While their new drop box is being refurbished and painted, Town Board members suggested Mr. Brown work with the Department of Public Works to identify the best location to install it.

Photo credit: John Spade/Flickr

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