FULTON, NY – Optician Ed Stoudemire of Fulton, who spoke at the March meeting of the Fulton Lions Club, recently spent a week in Nicaragua distributing eyeglasses donated by Lions Clubs International.
“Our club donated $500 toward Ed’s mission and we were delighted to have him share his experiences with us and see just how much of a difference our eyeglasses donations make in the lives of those who desperately need them,” said Zach Merry, Fulton Lions vice president.
Stoudemire was part of the Nicaragua Eye Care Mission Project to Teustepe, Nicaragua, sponsored by the non-profit, Hopeful Ways.
During the week he spent there in early February, Stoudemire said they served more than 1,600 local residents in the town, located about two hours northwest of Managua.
“We were set up in a local church where we screened the residents for visual acuity and medical issues,” Stoudemire said. “There was an optometrist for eye exams, and two opticians providing glasses, non-prescription sunglasses, and reading glasses. In addition, the local Lions Club provided 15 members to us as Spanish-English interpreters. I was deeply humbled by the profound difference we were making in their lives with the simple gift of eyeglasses. We take so many basic necessities for granted in our country, but to these people, eyeglasses were a treasure. In fact, about 70 percent of those we served had never worn glasses before. I am very grateful to the Fulton Lions Club for its support, and I wanted to come back and share my story so they could hear first-hand, the difference they are making in the world.”
The Fulton Lions Club collects used and unwanted eyeglasses and hearing aids at the Fulton Wal-Mart, 1818 State Route 3; The Fulton Medicine Place, 360 W. First St.; and at Fulton’s Empire Visionworks, 115 Rochester St.
The Fulton Lions Club, also known for its Lions Loot Sweepstakes, (April 20, 2018); Lions Mane Event Comedy Night, and annual Duck Derby, provides financial assistance for those in need of eyeglasses, eye exams, and hearing aids to residents in the Greater Fulton area.
Find them on Facebook under Fulton, NY Lions, or at fultonlionsclub.com. For more information on Hopeful Ways, visit www.hopefulways.org.