In a developing country, seeing an eye doctor and getting glasses could cost a family a month of wages.

One optometrist might be responsible for the eye care of thousands of people in one location.

Donating your gently used eyeglasses this month could help people in Mexico have better vision. That is the goal of a Franklin group.

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As part of an annual event, the Franklin Lions Club and Frechette Eye Center in Franklin are collecting prescription, nonprescription and reading eyeglasses and sunglasses to donate to people in need in other countries. Lions Club chapters across the nation are participating.

The Franklin Lions Club has put up trees at the county courthouse and courthouse annex in Franklin in an effort to get local residents to donate their used eyeglasses.

Donations last year were down, and club members hope to triple the number of glasses that they collected last year. Stories from people distributing the eyeglasses, such as the Mexican man in his 80s who wouldn’t take his new glasses off, help spur the drive to collect more eyeglasses every year.

Last year, the group collected 200 to 250 glasses. This year, they hope to collect 600 to 800 pairs, Lions Club member Macie Martin said.

More than 35 collection boxes are put up year round in county churches and businesses, but the trees make the Lions Club efforts more visible, Martin said.

“It is to attract more attention than a box at a collection site,” she said.

For more than 30 years, a tree at the courthouse has been put up and trimmed in an effort to collect the glasses, she said. Glasses can be hung on the tree or placed under it until the first week of January.

The eyeglasses are cleaned, repaired and given to a Lions Club in Mexico, which distributes the glasses to local residents. Optometrists travel with the group to give free eye exams to people receiving the glasses.

Local medical and church missions teams can request eyeglasses for their trips, but most of the glasses collected in Indiana will go to Mexico, Martin said.

Where to donate

The Franklin Lions Club has set up two eyeglass trees where people can donate prescription, nonprescription and reading eyeglasses and sunglasses.


  • Johnson County Courthouse, 5 E. Jefferson St., Franklin
  • Courthouse annex, 86 W. Court St., Franklin

When: Donations will be accepted until the first week of January.

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Magen Kritsch is an editorial assistant at the Daily Journal. She can be reached at or 317-736-2770.