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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 7, 2008
College of the Canyons Helps Give Gift of Sight
Imagine what it would be like to go to work or to school without the aid of eyeglasses or contact lenses. Street names would recede into a blur, reading the newspaper would feel more like an eye exam and the faces of loved ones would be unrecognizable from a distance.
Approximately 153 million people live with uncorrected eyesight (near-sightedness, far-sightedness and astigmatism), according to the World Health Organization.
Along with other colleges and universities, College of the Canyons conducted a drive to collect used eyeglasses for the Lions Recycle for Sight Project last December.
"We have reached out to help nearly 1,600 people who will benefit from improved vision from donated gently used and recycled eyeglasses," said Beth Asmus, dean of special programs at the college and president of the California Community Colleges Student Financial Aid Administrators Association (CCCSFAAA).
Asmus challenged the financial aid directors of the 109 California community colleges to start their own eyeglass drives and bring their collections to the conference.
In total, the association collected more than 1,600 pairs of used sunglasses, prescription and non-prescription eyeglasses and donated them to the Lions Recycle for Sight Project at the association's annual conference at the San Francisco Marriott in December. Of the total collected, 392 pairs came directly from College of the Canyons.
First challenged by Helen Keller in 1925 to "become knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness," Lions Clubs International has helped millions in undeveloped nations who do not have access to basic eye care services to see clearly for the first time with their Lions Recycle for Sight Program.