October 25, 2007

Trick or Treat or Eyeglasses… FCCLA Collecting Used Eyewear This Halloween

This year’s Halloween checklist will include candy, snacks, prizes, and… used eyeglasses? Trick-or-treaters in Scotland County aren’t having trouble seeing their goodies, but they will be lending a hand to the Scotland County R-I chapter of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) Sight Night project.

Trick-or-treaters are asked to bring the donated eyewear to school and turn the items into their teachers. The FCCLA is sponsoring a special prize for the class that has the most donations.

“The help of you and your child will be greatly appreciated by both FCCLA and the recipients of the eyewear,” said local FCCLA chapter president Courtney Small.

The FCCLA members have been promoting the special event throughout the month of October. Students have been asked to collect used eyeglasses that might have been lying around home or those no longer needed by friends and neighbors.

SCR-I graduate Hannah Kiddoo piloted a similar program in 2006. Small said her good friend passed the torch to her.

“Hannah is in college now, she is not here to take care of the Sight Night,” Small said. “She asked me to keep the project going. I decided to get FCCLA involved so we would have lots of community involvement.”

The local effort helps collect used eyeglasses for an international organization known as Give the Gift of Sight, which along with Lions Club International, distributes the eyewear to developing countries that have no established eye care system.

In its 10th year, Sight Night insures the collected eyewear will be cleaned, repaired, and hand-delivered to underprivileged individuals worldwide.

Each year, Give the Gift of Sight volunteers and optometrists, in partnership with Lions Clubs International members, hand-deliver eye exams and recycled eyewear to underprivileged individuals in developing countries around the world. Each two-week mission is designed to help nearly 30,000 people. Since 1991, Give the Gift of Sight has sponsored more than 100 optical missions to 27 developing countries providing the gift of sight to more than two million recipients.

The local effort is being supervised by FCCLA sponsor Katie Houston. Kathy Kiddoo, who helped with her daughter’s efforts to start the program, also is continuing to support the Give the Gift of Sight efforts.

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