SIGHTFIRST

 

In 1925, Helen Keller challenged Lions to become "knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness" during the association's international convention. (speech of Helen Keller)

Today, Lions are recognized worldwide for their service to the blind and visually impaired. Lions demonstrate their commitment to sight conservation through eyeglass recycling, sight partnerships and countless other sight services.


The Lions ambitious SightFirst Program has restored sight through cataract surgeries, prevented serious vision loss and improved eye care services for hundreds of millions of adults and children. To continue and expand this effort, Lions have launched Campaign SightFirst II, with a goal of raising at least US$150 million.

The fundraising campaign started in 2005 and ended in 2008.

The result of the campaign was more than US$ 200 million.

Sight Programs

 

In 1990, Lions established SightFirst, a US$211 million global initiative to fight the major causes of preventable and reversible blindness. The unprecedented program joins Lions volunteers with blindness prevention experts and organizations and governments. The more than 896 SightFirst grants have:


Provided more than 7.3 million cataract surgeries and prevented serious vision loss for 27 million
Supported 114.1 million treatments for river blindness
Built or expanded more than 300 eye hospitals/clinics/wards and upgraded more than 337 eye centers with equipment
Improved eye care in 91 countries around the world
Trained more than 345,000 ophthalmologists, ophthalmic nurses, other professional eye care workers and village health workers

Lions have launched Campaign SightFirst II in 2005 to raise at least US$150 million to continue and expand the extraordinary work of SightFirst. Lions far surpassed the three-year global fundraising campaign minimum goal, raising over US$200 million.

Lions clubs support other sight-related activities. Lions clubs and members:


Provide 600,000 free professional glaucoma screenings and make 26,000 corneal transplants possible each year


Establish and support a majority of the world?s eye banks and hundreds of clinics, hospitals and eye research centers worldwide


Collect an estimated 30 million pairs of used eyeglasses annually and send approximately 6 million pairs to Lions Eyeglass Recycling Centers for recycling and distribution at no cost to those in need in developing countries


Offer screenings, eyeglasses and sports goggles to athletes through the Special Olympics-Lions Clubs International Opening Eyes Program ? more than 100,000 athletes have been screened


Provide free quality eye care, eyeglasses, Braille-writers, white canes and other assistive devices for thousands of people each year