Oregon Lions provide free eye exams,, glasses

PORTLAND, Ore. - The Oregon Lions Sight & Hearing Foundation launched a new component to their Lions Eyeglass Assistance Program this year. In addition to distributing used readers to people in need, now through a partnership with Vision Service Plan and Prevent Blindness America, OLSHF and the 175 Oregon Lions Clubs will provide free eye exams and eyeglasses to qualified people in Oregon and Northern California.

According to a 2011 Oregon Health Insurance report, over 560,000 adults lack health insurance and many with health insurance do not have vision coverage. Without help, vision problems for these individuals can worsen. Many people simply lack the resources to renew a prescription or get a new pair of glasses. Suddenly driving and getting to work, as well as normal daily tasks, become difficult or impossible.

U.S residents 18 and older living at 200% or below of the Federal Poverty Level are eligible for service. Individuals seeking help must call the Lions in Service Referral System by leaving a detailed message at (971) 270-0203 or they can e-mail their contact information and request to  Lions volunteers will route these call to the appropriate club, who will then begin the application process. Eligible applicants will be notified within 10 business days.

Since late January, OLSHF has distributed over 400 gift certificates to people in need. Thanks to LEAP, now instead of telling people that resources are limited, OLSHF and local Lions Clubs can say, "Yes, we can help you!"

About Oregon Lions Sight & Hearing Foundation In 1925, Helen Keller challenged Lions to take up her cause of preventing blindness and deafness, and to this day OLSHF is proud to be living up to that challenge.  Since 1959, OLSHF, the nonprofit arm of the 175 Oregon Lions Clubs, has been an important part of Oregon's health care safety net. We provide eight direct service programs throughout the state in line with our mission "to screen, treat, save, and restore sight and hearing for those in need," in partnership with Lions Clubs.

OLSHF serves Oregonians in need in a variety of ways including free mobile health screenings, sight and hearing saving surgeries, exams for visually impaired children, and refurbished hearing aids. OLSHF serves more than 100,000 people a year at an average cost of less than $10 per person.  For more information, please visit

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