About Us






The Idaho Lions Sight and Hearing Foundation strives to be a premiere humanitarian service organization, dedicated to serving the Lions of Multiple District 39 in Idaho and Eastern Oregon.  Primary services include the Idaho Lions Eye Bank, the Personal Assistance Program, the Mobile Screening Unit (MSU), the Lions Hearing Aid Bank and Eyeglass Recycling program.  All programs offered by the Foundation are aimed at alleviating suffering in Idaho and Eastern Oregon communities by providing services for financially disadvantaged people, allowing them to return to work, take care of their families, and live a happy and productive life.  


The services offered by the Foundation are desperately needed throughout Idaho.  In 2011 19.3% of people living in the state were uninsured, putting Idaho in the top 15 states with the lowest healthcare coverage, and 15.8% of the population were living under the federal poverty level.  Individuals without health insurance are less likely to receive preventative and diagnostic healthcare, are more often diagnosed with medical issues at a later stage, and on average receive less treatment for their conditions that insured individuals.  The services provided by the Foundation are offered free of charge and therefore directly contribute to the sustainability of Idaho and Eastern Oregon communities. 


Check out our Foundation Program Guide

for more information and our

2012-2013 Annual Report to see our community impact!


Sign Up for Foundation emails to get the latest updates on events, what we're doing with the Lions of Multiple District 39, and how we're impacting our communities!



 Idaho Lions Eye Bank

The Idaho Lions Eye Bank helps restore sight to those afflicted with corneal blindness and facilitates the wishes of individuals who decide to donate their eyes upon death.  Corneal transplants restore sight by transplanting the cornea (the transparent front part of the eye that covers the iris, pupil and anterior chamber) when other medical treatments are no longer an option.  Corneal transplant is one of the most common transplant procedures, with approximately 100,000 procedures performed worldwide each year.  Some estimates report that 10,000,000 people are affected by various disorders that would benefit from corneal transplant areound the world.  Due to the skill of the tecdhnicians and doctors in Idaho corneal transplants in this state are 99% successful.  Anyone can be an eye donor, age and quality of eyesight is not a factor. 


Personal Assistance

In 2013-2014 the Foundation's Personal Assistance program was able to award $42,000 in financial assistance to individuals in need of medical treatment for issues concerning vision and those who required hearing aids to live a productive life.  The program provides financal assistance for cataract surgeries, corneal transplants, diabetic retinopathy, retinal detachments, glaucoma surgery, cochlear implants, and refurbished behind-the-ear hearing aids.  The Foundation works with numerous audiologists, doctors offices, hospitals and other service agencies to ensure the best care possible.  With communities continuing to feel the effects of economic hardship we are able to alleviate some of that burden by providing services free of charge, thanks to the donations of dedicated community members.  With 15% of Idaho's population living under the federal poverty level, many of which have little to no access to healthcare, the services the Foundation provides directly affect the well-being and sustainability of communities in Idaho and Eastern Oregon.  


Mobile Screening Unit (MSU)

The Mobile Screening Unit (MSU) is a state-of-the-art 38 foot tailer pulled by a tractor unit that offered free health screenings for children at elementary schools, the general public at health fairs, corporate events, retirement homes, and businesses.  The MSU is outfitted with screening technology to provide hearing, vision, blood pressure and diabetes screenings.  In 2013-2014 the MSU was able to screen over 14,000 people with the help of 613 volunteers over the course of 57 events.  All screenings are free of charge!


Eyeglass and Hearing Aid Recycling

The Idaho Lions Sight and Hearing Foundation and the 1,588 Lion members from the 70 clubs in Eastern Oregon, Southwest Idaho and Eastern Idaho help collect, sort and distribute used eyeglasses.  Last year the Lions collected 33,592 pairs of glasses that were hand carried to different parts of the world by humanitarian mission organizations and distributed to those in need.  We also collected over 500 pairs of hearing aids that were refurbished and redistributed in Easter Oregon and Idaho.  The World Health Organization estimates that more than 157 million people around the world have uncorrected refractive errors (near-sightedness, far-sightedness and astigmatism). Refractive errors can be easily corrected with eyeglasses, yet millions of people in low income countries lack access to basic services.  Due to the dedication and hard work of our Lions clubs, Idahoans, just by donating old eyeglasses they were never going to use again anyway, are able to directly impact the lives of people around the world.  


Diabetes Awareness

Diabetes is the 6th leading cause of death and affects almost every part of the body.  It leads to blindness and heart disease.  Diabetes cost the U.S. 132 billion dollars.  Therefore, the Foundation has taken a proactive approach to get the word out about diabetes.  Screenings can be done free of charge for organizations by the MSU. 



Recent Posts


Idaho Lions Sight and Hearing Foundation
Nominated for Annual Nonprofit Excellence Award


Boise – More than 100 organizations have been nominated across Idaho for the Idaho Nonprofit Center’s Excellence Award.


“We are pleased with the response from the community and impressed with the many moving stories in the 2014 nominations,” said Janice Fulkerson, Executive Director of the Idaho Nonprofit Center, which organized the awards. “We know that nonprofits make a difference in communities across Idaho every day and these awards recognize the contribution of the nonprofit sector.”


The Idaho Lions Sight and Hearing Foundation is honored to be one of the organizations nominated in the statewide program. All nominated organizations will be recognized at the Nonprofit Excellence Awards Dinner on September 23rd during the Idaho Nonprofit Center’s Annual Conference.


Our mission at the Idaho Lions Sight and Hearing Foundation is to be a humanitarian service organization dedicated to impacting sight, hearing and health. Primary services include the Idaho Lions Eye Bank, the Personal Healthcare Assistance program, the Mobile Health Screening Unit, the Lions Hearing Aid Bank and Eyeglass Recycling program. All programs offered by the Foundation are aimed at restoring sight and hearing to those afflicted with blindness, deafness and the financially disadvantaged.


Contact the Idaho Lions Sight and Hearing Foundation at 208.338.5466 or go to www.IdahoLions.org for more information about the services offered.



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Sign up for Foundation emails to get the latest updates on events, what we're doing with the Lions of Multiple District 39, and how we're impacting our communities!



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 Our 2012-2013 Annual Report is here! 



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Our mission is to be a humanitarian service organization dedicated to impacting sight, hearing and health and for 45 years we have been striving to make a difference in the lives of the people in our communities.

Helen Keller’s speech at the 1925 Lions International convention was truly inspirational. She offered the Lions Clubs opportunities of service by assisting the blind and “making their lives more worthwhile everywhere by increasing their economic value and giving them the joy of normal activity.” Our vision continues to be the same and that is to hasten the day when there shall be no preventable blindness; no deaf or blind child untaught; no blind man or woman unaided.


Our services support the sustainability of individuals in need. This year the Idaho Lions Eye Bank facilitated and provided over 300 donor corneas for transplantation through the humanitarian giving of our donors and their families. We were able to assist over 22,000 individuals by providing sight restoring assistance through our Eyeglass Recycling program and through our eye surgery financial assistance fund. 22 Idahoans were fitted with donated and refurbished hearing aids and over 14,000 individuals received free sight, hearing and health screening through our Lions Mobile Screening Unit.

As we begin our 46th year of restoring sight and hearing to people in need, it is with gratitude to the Lions Clubs of Idaho and Eastern Oregon and to the Friends of the Foundation for supporting the worthwhile work that has helped so many individuals with sight, hearing and health needs. Our Foundation board and employees continue to be advocates of our mission and we all feel grateful for the opportunity to make a difference. Our board is devoted to our strategic plan and their efforts will leave a lasting impact. Our energy for continuing our work is strong – we are filled with big ideas for enhancing our existing programs and constantly looking for our next step to enrich the lives of the people and the community around us. We look forward to your continued support and participation.


Jay Lugo

Executive Director




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Executive Director Report

I am very grateful to be starting my twentieth year as part of the Idaho - E. Oregon Lions Sight and Hearing Foundation and the Idaho Lions Eye Bank. It feels as if it was only yesterday that I was interviewed by one of our founders, Lion Bill Hallock. My experiences have allowed me to meet thousands of dedicated Lion Members, courageous eye donor families, thankful corneal transplant recipients, and thousands of community members that we have assisted through our sight and hearing services. I will always be indebted to our founders, Lion Bill Hallock, Lion George Wehmann, and to our past Eye Bank President, Lion Woody Voyles, for their support and opportunities to grow our services in the most progressive way possible.


Our founders started the Foundation with a simple vision; to fight blindness and deafness in our communities by providing sight saving work and hearing assistance to those afflicted with visual and hearing impairments. What they did not realize 44 years ago, was that they would start a legacy. A large part of what we do at the Foundation is to continue that legacy for generations to come.


This past year has been one of the most exciting years for The Foundation and Eye Bank. We made a public announcement of our endowment campaign and in Sun Valley I was honored to announce our donors have pledged a total of 1.2 million dollars towards the future of the Foundation. We have a lot of work ahead of us to meet our goal of five million. We invite you to help us raise awareness of the Sight and Hearing Foundation by inviting a trustee to your club for a presentation or by stopping by our offices for a tour of our services.


The Foundation and Eye Bank have remained very active in our community partnerships. The Foundation is part of the United Way Health Vision Council and we have representation on two external committees with Idaho State University to help improve health care in Idaho. The Idaho Lions Eye Bank currently represents the small eye bank category on the National Eye Bank Association of the American Board of Directors; The Idaho Lions Eye Bank is also the Chair of the Technical Education Committee for the 100 eye banks in the United States. The Idaho Lions Eye Bank and "Yes Idaho" presented two bills at our Idaho State legislature this year. The two bills involving organ, eye and tissue donation passed unanimously!


Our future is very exciting. The board of trustees have put the wheels in motion to expand our eye research programs and venture into a new endeavor by providing direct optometric services to better serve those in need. Our vision is to better serve the needs of our communities and continue to be a serving arm of our Multiple District 39 Lions Clubs. I know our founders would be pleased.

Jay Lugo
Executive Director
Idaho Eastern Oregon Lions Sight and Hearing Foundation
Idaho Lions Eye Bank


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