My husband, Jim, belongs to the Okauchee Lions Club.  I am a member of Okauchee Lioness Club.  We are very proud of all the great work our organizations are doing to help the vision impaired.  We recently attended our district convention.  We were very impressed by the large donations made to the Wisconsin Lions Foundation, Inc.
The Wisconsin Lions Foundation touches thousands of lives. Club donations support the majority of the Foundation’s programs. In addition, people outside Lionsim make contributions to our efforts. These take the form of memorials of deceased friends and family members. The Foundation also receives cash gifts to offset the operational costs. Many people have been impressed by activities and have willed sums of money, securities, or land for the improvement of the programs. The Foundation has a 501 (c)(3) IRS tax status that allows donations to be deductible from both state and federal taxes as allowed by law.
The Foundation maintains a camp for the visually impaired in northern Wisconsin.  Children and adults with vision impairment can spend time here at no cost to them.  It is such a memorable experience for these people who could not have this opportunity if it was not provided by the wonderful donations of the Lions and Lioness Clubs.
“Blind kids can’t go to outdoor camps and stuff like that…” This remark by a teenager started it all over 40 years ago. That chance comment, overheard by a Wisconsin Lions Club member, has turned dream into reality for thousands of youth and adults with disabilities throughout Wisconsin.
Lions Clubs throughout Wisconsin generously support the camp and its programs, along with help from individual contributors. Contributions are appreciated to ensure the ongoing camp operation
The goals and objectives of the camp reflect a true commitment to excellence. Its primary objective is to provide a fun, safe and memorable camping experience that will have a positive impact on the camper's life. This is accomplished through a carefully designed program which focuses on each camper's individual and unique needs.
The Lions Club  also support the leader dog program.  Leader Dogs for the Blind was founded in 1939 by a group of Michigan Lions. Their goal was to train dogs to lead the blind and to provide facilities and means whereby trained dogs could be matched to a blind master. The nonprofit organization is served by a national board of 30 trustees. The training school and executive offices are located in Rochester, Michigan. Over ten thousand blind people have become self-sufficient through the use of a Leader Dog. The dormitory stands as a tribute to the many Lions Clubs who have unselfishly given their time and money to make the Leader Dog School what it is today.
Lions are recognized worldwide for their service to the blind and visually impaired. This service began when Helen Keller challenged the Lions to become "knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness" during the association's 1925 international convention. 
Today, in addition to their international SightFirst program, Lions extend their commitment to sight conservation through countless local efforts.
Lions Clubs International, which has been collecting and recycling used eyeglasses for more than 60 years, is the world's largest service club organization with 1.4 million members in more than 43,000 clubs in 185 countries.   The association, founded in Chicago in 1917, joins men and women in community service with special emphasis on aiding the blind and visually impaired.
Lion Clubs across the country collect used eye glasses in various locations throughout their communities.  Used eye glasses are sent to the Lions Eyeglass Recycling Center in Muncie Indiana.  Volunteers sort the glasses, separating sunglasses, broken glasses and single lenses from intact pairs.  A lensometer is used to determine the prescription of the glasses.  Glasses are cleaned and packaged according to prescription.  Prepared glasses are stored in a warehouse until requested for a eyeglass dispensing mission.  Volunteers sort glasses in preparation of the fist day of the mission.  More than 100 migrant farm workers line up early to ensure they receive free eyeglasses.  Recipients have their eyes tested using an auto refractor.  A recipient is fitted with glasses that were donated by local communities.  After a few adjustment he is able to read clearly the first time in years.  The glasses will help the recipient maintain employment allowing him to continue to support his family.
Lions Clubs across the country are committed to supporting the local Eye Banks.  A team of professionals and volunteers are dedicated to restoring the Gift of Sight through transplantation of corneas, research to advance the knowledge and treatment of eye diseases, and education to increase donations of human eyes after death.  This is all possible because of the support given by local Lions Clubs. 
The Wisconsin Lions Foundation and Prevent Blindness Wisconsin combined forces to help the fight against blindness. Through the efforts of local Lions and Lioness Clubs, screenings are taking place in their local day cares and preschools. Vision problems affect one if every five school children and one in every twenty preschool age children.
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