Members of the Napoleon Lions club were recently entertained by club member Ron Meyers, who spoke about his latest, and 17th, mission trip for VOSH (Volunteer Optometric Service to Humanity).
VOSH’s Ohio recycling center is located in Pandora, where donated eyeglasses are inspected, classified and stored according to prescription for future VOSH mission trips. Although many persons who travel on such mission trips are members of Lions clubs, the organization is not a Lions group.
Meyers’ latest trip was to Romania and there were 18 persons (eight of whom were optimists) who made the trip. Meyers noted everyone pays for their own trip; there are no VOSH funds used to pay for volunteer’s travel expenses.
The glasses are packed in large red bags and each mission trip usually involves about 5,000 pair of glasses. Many times, the volunteers take one of the bags as their shipped bag, but this time the bags were shipped separately.
Each day of the mission is undertaken in different towns of the country. Patients go through a series of tests in order to determine the best eyeglass choice.
Every patient gets an examination and a prescription is written. That prescription is brought to volunteers, like Meyers, who find the correct eyeglasses and help fit the person.
All the boxes have been pre-labeled with the correct script to make the process run more smoothly. Meyers indicated he usually picks a few glasses with the same prescription so the patient then has a choice of style. The frames are then bent by experts to get the correct fit.
Most of the mission days run from 8 a.m. through 5 p.m., and Meyers noted there was usually a line already in place when they would arrive. Many of the sessions were conducted in churches, and the volunteers were fed by that particular group each day.
The weather was pretty much the same as Ohio and Meyers added they usually have a few days of R&R to see some of sights of the country.
Meyers’ next trip is to the west coast of Mexico.
About 20 Lions members were in attendance.
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