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President’s Message

Alan P. Brewer, President, NJLERC

The New Jersey Lions Eyeglass Recycling Center (NJLERC) is one of the biggest Lions Eyeglass Recycling Centers (LERCs) in North America.  On an annual basis, the New Jersey Lions Eyeglass Recycling Center collects over 1 million pair of eyeglasses and distributes between 100,000 to 125,000 pairs of eyeglasses to needy, sight impaired individuals around the world. In fact, NJLERC collected an estimated 1,018,525 pair of eyeglasses this past year.

Between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012, our volunteer staff filled 64 requests or orders for eyeglasses by mission groups who traveled to 20 different countries which include: Africa, Bolivia, Columbia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic,  East Africa, El Salvador, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Kenya, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Philippines, Peru, Uganda and the USA. I am extremely proud of the steadfast support of the NJLERC Board of Trustees and all the Lions Clubs throughout New Jersey who continue to believe in our fundamental mission—the eradication of preventable blindness. Without this support it would have been impossible to distribute 110,640 pair of eyeglasses, served an estimated 102,820 people and fit approximately 94,380 needy people with glasses right here from the Great State of New Jersey.  NJLERC volunteers continue to make a difference in the lives of ordinary people and I am proud of NJ Lions who play a critical role by processing orders for recycled eyeglasses to improve the vision of people in developing countries throughout the world.

Since our inception, Lions Club International Foundation had a primary mission to “eradicate preventable blindness” by assisting poor sight-impaired people around the world. Now, we are moving into the next era of service by developing programs right here at home and abroad that will provide new low-cost eyeglasses to all who cannot afford them.

LCIF in partnership with Essilor of North America, has trademarked a low cost “Lion Lens” which NJLERC can now use to place into new donated eyeglass frames or into a “Lions Frame” (under development). For the first time, Lions will have access to quality low-cost lenses which may be used to fill prescriptions from licensed eye-care professionals willing to donate free eye exams to poor, sight impaired people in our communities.

After years of planning, is NJLERC pleased to announce that working with Lions Club International Foundation (LCIF), Essilor Corporation, and Vision USA, we are now in the final stages of establishing a “Pilot Program” to correct uncorrected refractive error (URE). In New Jersey, the pilot program will allow local lions clubs to refer a needy person for a free eye examination by completing a simple referral application which may allow a person to be seen by a volunteer Vision USA Optometrist; at no cost.  Once it is determined that an individual meets the financial criteria, that person will be scheduled to be seen by a qualified eye-care provider by zip code.

Any local Lions Club that already have access to a local optometrist who is willing to give a free exam(s) can continue to use that eye care provider; however, a local lions club may benefit by having the exam done and forwarding the prescription to NJLERC to allow access to the new “Lions Lens” which will be also edged at a reduced cost by the Essilor Lab then sent back to the optometrist for dispensing. Again, this program is a win-win for all.

In the next several months, I will be working on sample frame kits that will be given to  a participating optometrists and once an eye exam is completed the prescription can be sent directly to and forwarded to a local Essilor lab in Warren New Jersey for completion. Each referring club will be asked to contribute a modest $20.00 dollars to offset the cost of the lenses, frame and shipping. Should a person require a prescription outside the normal perimeters it will be filled at cost; estimated not to exceed $30.00 total. In the next several months more information will become available about this unique, innovative program. For more information visit and click on the New Jersey/New York/Pennsylvania URE tab for specific details about our progress and updates as they become available.

Yours in Service,

Alan P. Brewer


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