Tupelo Lions Club collects glasses to donate to people in Uganda

Tupelo ophthalmologist takes more than 1,000 pairs of eyeglasses to Uganda

TUPELO, Miss. (WCBI) – They are a common sight every year, donation boxes for used eyeglasses from Lions Club chapters.

348627118 207250908834678 119790940563890826 NOne Northeast Mississippi Lions Club recently collected more than a thousand pairs of glasses and they’re helping people a world away.

During the most recent meeting of the Tupelo Lions Club, Dr. Lee Walker gave the highlights of a recent trip he and a team took to Africa.

Walker is an ophthalmologist who took more than a thousand eyeglasses collected by the Tupelo Lions Club to Uganda for the medical mission trip. Along with the donated eyeglasses, the team had to take all the equipment for a makeshift clinic from village to village.

“We did what you would call a rudimentary exam, giving us a good idea, not an exact prescription, but a good idea of prescription needed, and because we had a thousand plus pairs of glasses we were able to mix and match with ones we had to get as close as possible to what the patient needed,” Walker said.

Jim Larson is president of the Tupelo Lions Club and wanted to have Walker as a guest speaker, so club members could get a first-hand account of what happens with the donated reading glasses.

“This is something I’ve wondered about, how are the glasses used, today was a good eye opener to what they do with the glasses when they take them on the mission trips, it is also enlightening to see how much good they are doing for people who can’t afford to buy those glasses,” Larson said.

For Walker, the medical mission trip was an eye-opening experience. Most patients lived on less than two dollars a day, and have no access, or way to pay for basic medical care. Walker said it was a blessing to be able to help so many through the generosity of Northeast Mississippians.

“I could hand a patient a pair of glasses, notice they’re seeing better and their faces would light up, noticing ‘hey I’m seeing so much better.’ And that immediate improvement in quality of life is a wonderful experience I got to be a part of.  I hope they can keep those glasses, keep them safe, in good condition and use them for months and years to come,” Walker said.

Walker encouraged people to drop off their used glasses when they see a Lions Club Donation Box.  He knows they will be put to good use.

Tupelo’s First Baptist Church organized the medical mission trip.

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