New Lions program offers needy glasses

KTVZ.COM news sources
POSTED: 4:21 PM PST January 10, 2013 
PORTLAND, Ore. -

The Oregon Lions Sight & Hearing Foundation announced Thursday that the new Lions Eyeglass Assistance Program (LEAP) is open for business. The program works closely with Lions Clubs throughout Oregon and Northern California to help adults who can't afford eye exams or eyeglasses.

OLSHF is a nonprofit foundation of the 170 Oregon Lions Clubs that together serve their communities through healthcare assistance programs.

Thanks to a partnership with Prevent Blindness America, Vision Service Plan and many local vision providers, OLSHF has launched this new initiative to provide free eye exams and eyeglasses to qualified individuals living 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.

Unfortunately, vision problems for these individuals can worsen or they simply have no access 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. Individuals seeking help must call the Lions in Service line at (971) 270-0203 and leave a message or they can e-mail their contact information and request to lionsclubsreferrals@olshf.org.

Lions volunteers will refer each person to a Sight and Hearing Chair at the appropriate club, who then begins the application process. Applicants will be notified within 10 business days if they have been approved or denied.

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, the OLSHF has been an important part of Oregon's health care safety net. We provide seven 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 www.olshf.org