Preventing blindness wherever possible and aiding those in need of visual assistance
In keeping with one of the oldest missions of the Lions around the world, our commitment is to prevent blindness wherever possible and to aid those in need of seeing assistance. The Lions provide assistance with multiple programs each year:
Sight Screening, Lions Participate in Harford County’s Project Connect
Each year, Bel Air Lions join Lions from across Harford County to provided sight screening services to individuals and families in Harford County’s Project Connect. Sponsored by the United Way of Central Maryland, Harford County, participants receive services that can put them on the path to self-sufficiency. Lions work with optometrists and sight professionals from local providers to perform non-dilated vision exams and pressure checks to over 100 participants each year. Working together, the vision team provided prescription eyeglasses along with non-prescription reading glasses to individuals in need. They also identified individuals in need of additional medical follow up for such sight stealing diseases as glaucoma, cataracts, and diabetic retinopathy.
Lions Voucher Program
The Lions help with vision exams and eyeglasses. Working with social services, once a need has been established, our Club provides vouchers for individuals to receive eye care and eyeglasses.
Eye Glasses Recycling
Bel Air Lions collects hundreds of donated eyeglasses throughout the community. These eyeglasses are donated by local citizens and are collected in multiple donation boxes throughout the community. Once collected, the eyeglasses are sorted, cleaned, and measured to be sent overseas to individuals where eye care and eyeglasses are in short supply. A list of donation box locations can be found below.
Lions (LVRF) Low vision Research Foundation
The primary purpose of the Lions Vision Research Foundation (LVRF) is to support low vision research and rehabilitation to minimize the disabilities caused by severe vision loss. The objectives of the LVRF are being met through its partnership with the Lions Vision Research and Rehabilitation Center (LVC) at the Wilmer Eye Institute of The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, Maryland. The Bel Air Lions provide financial support to the LVRF. Many local residents have benefited from these services.
Leader Dogs for the Blind
The Bel Air Lions, along with Lions across the county, provide financial support to “Leader Dogs for the Blind,” a national independent foundation. This Foundation provides dogs to assist the visually impaired with tools and training to reintroduce them to a life of confidence, safety and independence. Through a full range of services—Guide Dog Training, Orientation & Mobility Training and Summer Experience Camp—the foundation meets the mobility needs of clients at every stage of their lives.