A pair of unused eyeglasses sitting in your drawer can help a child in Mexico excel in school or help an adult hang onto their job by improving their eyesight.

The Franklin Lions Club is collecting used glasses as part of their annual Christmas tradition to send the glasses to residents in Mexico.

Club members have put up two Christmas trees in Franklin at the Johnson County courthouse and in the courthouse annex. Residents can hang their glasses on the trees or can drop them in donation boxes at the site and at dozens of other sites in Franklin and Whiteland.

The club is hoping to collect at least 250 pairs of glasses in their annual effort. Donations were down last year, with about 200 pairs of glasses collected, said Macie Martin, treasurer for the Franklin Lions Club.

Efforts to promote the glasses collection last year were not as large as in the past, Martin said.

Lions Clubs across the state typically collect about 72,000 pairs of glasses that are cleaned, refurbished and tested for a prescription before they are sent to Mexico as part of a mission trip, she said.

Indiana prison inmates will clean and sort the glasses by prescription. Lions Club members then will travel to Mexico, where some of the country’s poorest residents will get eye exams and free glasses that match their prescription.

Some residents don’t have access to an optometrist, Martin said.

Often, the glasses they receive are sorely needed, Martin said.

“(Your glasses) might be given to a child who needs them for school, a senior who needs them for independence or an adult who needs them to see to do their job,” she said.

Lions Club members have been collecting glasses for more than three decades as a main mission after the national chapter was challenged by Helen Keller to help improve the world’s eyesight, Martin said.

At a glance

The Franklin Lions Club has set up two trees where people can donate prescription, nonprescription and reading eyeglasses and sunglasses. Donations will be accepted until the first week of January.

  • Johnson County Courthouse, 5 E. Jefferson St., Franklin
  • Courthouse annex, 86 W. Court St., Franklin
Author photo
Magen Kritsch is an editorial assistant at the Daily Journal. She can be reached at mkritsch@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2770.