Norwalk Lions Club is making headway in its new project, which will conclude with a trip to Nicaragua in May of 2008.
The Lions are working to collect, measure, label and package eyeglasses to be taken with them and distributed to the needy.
They decided to do the processing themselves instead of going through another company. The club purchased a $3,000 instrument that collects and processes the glasses automatically, which will save time and allow it to take more eyeglasses.
"Hopefully, this will be a big benefit to help us serve the people," club member Jon Christman said.
About a year and a half ago, the club decided to be a part of the Voluntary Optimetric Services for Humanity (VOSH).
The 2008 journey to Nicaragua will be the Lions' first mission trip. They are working with VOSH International President Dr. Larry Hookway, OD, who practices in Willard. He has participated in nine trips to various countries and will be leading a trip in January along with the trip in May.
Hookway spoke at the Lions Club meeting Tuesday night. He gave a slide show presentation on a previous trip to Guatemala. One picture was of an old man who had received eyeglasses. "He was so happy he just went around thanking everybody," Hookway said.
But, "it's not a cakewalk," Hookway added.
Once on the trip, the group will be checking vision, determining what prescription is needed, searching their database for matching eyeglasses and distributing them. Anywhere from 200 to 500 pairs could be distributed daily.
The club plans to send about 25 people to Nicaragua, including optometrist and former president Dr. Jim Maul.
"We're in the process of finalizing our group," Maul said.
Christman added: "Our Lions club is pretty active. I'm excited to go serve the needy."