Lions install drop box for eyeglass donations
Don't throw away those old glasses cluttering up your drawers. The Lansing Lions Club has made dropping off obsolete eyeglasses as easy as mailing a letter, with the new drop box installed at the north end of parking lot of The Overlook, 720 First Terrace.
Lions Club members Dan Miller and David Chartier installed the box Saturday morning as a collection point to help fulfill the club's longtime mission to promote healthy vision. Installing the box required clearing a space on the island at the north end of the parking lot for the box's four legs, and flat pieces of concrete for the legs to evenly perch on.
Donated glasses will be collected monthly by club members and dropped off at the Lansing Correctional Facility to have the glasses' prescription strengths measured, and each pair cleaned and individually bagged by a team of two to four inmates.
Excepting the inmates' wages, Lions Club pays for all expenses, which include the prescription-reading machine, bags and boxes.
Brett Peterson, spokesman for the prison, said the inmates process between 2,600 and 4,000 pairs of glasses per month, which club member Terri Brittingham said were collected from the Lions Clubs district that includes Shawnee, Douglas, Wyandotte, Johnson, Jefferson, Atchison, Nemaha, Brown and Doniphan counties. The glasses are then sent overseas for distribution to those who need glasses but can't afford them.
The drop box came from Vicki Sperl, another Lions Club member, who in turn got it from the city of Lansing in 2000 when it replaced the U.S. Postal Service-style box for bill payment drop-offs at City Hall with a smaller, newer box.
The box sat in Sperl's garage for five years until Miller took it home to scrape the rust off, cover it with primer, and coat it with Lion's Club-yellow and a few 'L' insignia.
Miller said Vivian Ross, the Lansing club chairwoman, thought up the collection point, and that he probably spent about 12 hours prepping and painting the box.
Brittingham said glasses with broken frames were not wanted.
The Lions Club meets every first and third Tuesday for a meal and meeting at 6:30 p.m. in the Lansing Community Center, 800 First Terrace.