/ Articles / Lions ‘Stuff the Jeep’ with eyeglasses and ink cartridges for the Wisconsin Lions Foundation Eyeglass Recycling Center and the Wisconsin Lions Camp
District 27-C2 Governor-Elect, Bob Bertch and his spouse, Lion Laura Bertch, Boulder Junction, went on a road trip to pick up used eyeglasses and ink cartridges from clubs in the northern part of 27-C2 District for the Wisconsin Lions Foundation Eyeglass Recycling Center and the Wisconsin Lions Camp. Clubs around the district place collection boxes around their community for donations of used eyeglasses and used ink cartridges. Simultaneously, the District Governor, Mary Ann Gretenhardt and her spouse, Lion Gary, were collecting from other clubs in the rest of the district.
Because the district had to cancel their annual convention due to COVID-19, the clubs could not drop off their collected eyeglasses and ink cartridges like they do every year. So the Bertchs jumped in their vehicle and visited Presque Isle, Winchester, Manitowish Waters, Mercer, Hurley, Mellen, Port Wing, Washburn, and Ashland. By the last stop on their road trip, their vehicle was full of used eyeglasses and ink cartridges. On May 29, Bertch planned to bring the eyeglasses and ink cartridges down to the Wisconsin Lions Foundation Eyeglass Recycling Center and Lions Camp headquarters in Rosholt.
The Eyeglass Recycling Center is one of only 18 LCI Certified Recycling Centers in the world. Over 800,000 pairs of glasses are processed annually at the Center, with over 450,000 pairs being sent to 49 different developing countries. Eyeglasses received at the eyeglass facility at Lions Camp are sorted, cleaned, categorized, bagged, and boxed in preparation for shipment to developing countries.
In most developing countries, eye care is either unaffordable or inaccessible. An eye exam can cost as much as one month’s wages, and a single eye doctor may serve a community of hundreds of thousands of people. And for many, poor eyesight that is left uncorrected can lead to unemployment for adults and a child’s inability to attend school.
Used ink cartridges are sold back to the manufacturers and the funds are used to support Wisconsin Lions Camp which provides a quality camping experience free-of-charge to eligible children and adults with disabilities from Wisconsin. They serve children and adults who are blind or visually impaired, Deaf or Hard of Hearing, children with intellectual disabilities or autism, children with diabetes, and children with epilepsy. A chance remark, “Blind kids can’t go to outdoor camps and stuff like that …” started it all in 1955 and in 1956, the Lions Clubs of the State of Wisconsin founded the Wisconsin Lions Camp and the Wisconsin Lions Foundation, Inc. to administer the Camp program.