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November 9, 2004 > Wiebel School Trick- 0r -Treat for Used Eyeglasses

Wiebel School Trick- 0r -Treat for Used Eyeglasses

by Arathi Satish

Weibel Elementary School children gathered more than candy "treats" for Halloween this year. Students were busy finding used eyeglasses for the Gift of Sight Collection Program. Sight Night is part of a national collection drive conducted annually by Give the Gift of Sight, a family of charitable vision care program sponsored by the LensCrafters Foundation in conjunction with Lions Clubs International.

Each year, during the month of October, volunteers from Lions Clubs and LensCrafters collect used prescription and non-prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses in all shapes, colors and sizes on trick-or-treat night. The collected glasses are then repaired and classified by prescription. LensCrafters associates, doctors and Lion Club members travel all over the world, performing eye exams and delivering these refurbished glasses to needy people across North America and in more than 24 developing countries.

Beginning in the week of October 18th, Weibel Elementary School students began bringing in used glasses and reading glasses, prescription or not, for "Sight Night." This was the first time Weibel students participated and teacher Linda Millar said, "It is likely to become an annual event. Flyers were distributed to Weibel families asking for spare glasses that could be donated. Glasses came in each day, beginning with a few at a time, then as the campaign progressed...bagfuls! Final count was 159 pairs."

It is estimated that one in four people around the world need eyeglasses to see properly. In many developing countries, people cannot afford eyeglasses and in some areas, they are just unavailable. The donated glasses may be the difference for some to be able to work and even see their family members.

Ms. Millar pointed out that "Fremont Unified School District is implementing curricula in Character Education and this seemed an ideal way to get the students involved in a community service project that was fun and meaningful. Principal Marylouise Bailey was an advocate of the project because "it dovetailed curricular goals for the entire Kindergarten through 6th grade student population at Weibel."

Most students said they liked participating in eyeglass drive and will start collecting more right away. Student comments such as, "I was happy to give somebody glasses because they will see better," indicated their satisfaction with the project.

Sight Night is a year round program, with special emphasis during the holiday season. For more information about the program or a Sight Night Collection Kit, call toll free, 1-877-605-4242 or visit www.sightnight.org.

 
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