Owensville Lions Club installs recycling bin at Walmart for eye glasses, hearing aids

Those wishing to donate their old eyeglasses or hearing aids can now conveniently do so at the Owensville Walmart.

Owensville Lions Club members on the sight and hearing committee secured a donation box which resembles a mailbox and it is bolted in place out front of the Owensville store. It was fabricated at State Technical College of Missouri in Linn.

Donated glasses frames, prescription lenses, hearing aids and even non-prescription sunglasses are sought for the Missouri Lions Club program which forwards them to a repurposing center which has been moved to Jefferson City.

The center receives all types of used glasses that are sorted,graded and, if they are prescriptions, the strength of each lens is measured. Once grade and sorted, these items are ready to be shipped to mission groups around the world that provide first time eye screeners, according to Mark Schaeperkoetter, a local Lions member and District Governor for the Heart of Missouri Lions Clubs.

‘Readers’ also accepted

“I was surprised that the greatest demand at the center is for ‘readers’ and these glasses are fortunately not expensive in relation to prescription lenses,” said Schaperkoetter. “We have donors that will purchase ‘readers’ and give them to us because they know our need is great. The lucky ones get old and their eyes change and they need ‘readers.’”

Schaperkoetter also said he was surprised at the number of non-prescription sunglasses that are requested. 

“Missionaries also like the clip-on sunglasses because of their light weight and are easily transportable,” he noted. “Your donations are very important to the vision impaired in areas of the world that have never seen an eye doctor.”

The box out front of Walmart is a bright yellow and is painted with the Lions Club logo.

“Our Missouri Lions Clubs have mission trips should you be motivated to help others,” Schaeper-koetter said. “Without exception, those who have helped provide adequate sight assistance would always encourage someone to go.”

If anyone has any questions or wants to volunteer with screenings, sorting or mission trips, they are invited to call Schaeperkoetter at 573-619-8544.