FOR SIGHT, FOR SOUND, FOR HEALTH
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!
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Idaho Lions Eye Bank
The Idaho Lions Eye Bank helps restore sight to those afflicted with corneal blindness and facilitate the wishes of individuals who wish 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.
In 2013-2014 the Foundation's Personal Assistance program was able to award $48,000 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 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.