Site last updated: Saturday, April 13, 2024

Log In

Reset Password
Butler County's great daily newspaper

Cranberry Lions Club provides glasses for those in need

Robert Boren of Cranberry, a 20-year member of the Cranberry Area Lions club was presented with the Melvin Jones Fellow award for his humanitarian efforts in collecting 45,000 pairs of glasses for those in need. Submitted Photo

At least a billion people with impaired vision don’t have access to corrective treatment, according to the most recent report from World Health Organization.

“As usual, this burden is not borne equally,” the 2019 report stated. “It weights more heavily on low and middle income countries, on older people and on rural communities.”

The Cranberry Lions club has made helping them get the glasses they need a priority. Whether it’s going to a foreign country to administrate sight test, collecting eyewear or providing local children with optometry appointments and glasses.

In February, Gregg Otto, president of the Cranberry Area Lions Club, along with his wife, Jeanne, partnered with Mission Vision in Cranberry on a medical trip to Honduras.

The couple took three suitcases full of glasses and administered eye exams during their eight day trip. The group provided screenings to 1,701 people at five different sites and supplied 290 reading glasses and 87 prescription glasses.

Otto said he was trained on the auto-refractor, a computer-controlled machine used to measure a person's refractive error and determine a prescription for glasses, by Mission Vision in 2020.

“We were able to provide glasses that we had in the suitcases to people that best fits their prescription,” Otto said. “I’ve been trained by Mission Vision in their U.S. facility to use the auto-refractor. I think I do a fairly good job.”

Otto said the people of Honduras were very thankful.

“We provide, perhaps, the only medical appointments that people get for the whole year” Otto said.

According to the National Institutes of Health, Honduras has one of the highest rates of avoidable blindness in the Western Hemisphere.

President of the Cranberry Area Lions Gregg Otto of Cranberry administered eye examinations in Honduras as part of a medical trip with Mission Vision in Cranberry. The medical brigade provided screenings to 1,701 people and supplied 290 reading glasses and 87 prescription glasses to the locals. Submitted Photo
45,000 pairs of glasses

Robert Boren, of Cranberry, has been a member of the Cranberry Lions Club for 20 years. During the past eight years, Boren has been able to collect 45,000 pairs of glasses to donate to those in need.

“It’s a nice way for me to help other people,” Boren said. “These glasses not only go to people in the United States or the North Side of Pittsburgh, but they go to places like Uganda. We’ve shipped thousands (of glasses) overseas throughout the years.”

Boren said he collects glasses from 11 local optometrists. He cleans them and then sends them to Mission Vision.

For his efforts, Boren was awarded the Lion’s Melvin Jones Fellow award for his humanitarian efforts.

“He enthusiastically assumes responsibility a service project that fulfills the Lions commitment to the visually impaired,” Otto said. “Bob is exemplary in living out our Lions motto, ‘We serve.’”

The Cranberry Area Lions Club will be hosting an eye glass collection drive at the Cranberry Municipal building from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 23.

“I’ll be standing right there,” Boren said. “People don’t even have to get out of their cars.”

More in Local News

Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter

* indicates required