Lions Club International is an organization known for aiding those who are visually and hearing impaired free of charge. 

One of the ways the club administers help to those in need of eyeglasses is by collecting new or used glasses to be refurbished and distributed. Individual clubs choose their own methods of collecting eyewear.

Locally, the Riverside Township Lions Club through the years have collected close to 1,000 pairs of glasses. The Riverside Lions have a committee comprising Lew and Martha Heine, Diane Ceragioli, Frank Gangware and Bob Lifka, who collect glasses donated by residents at various boxes that have been distributed throughout the community. After the glasses are collected, they are brought to a distribution point where they are refurbished.

In response to the need, the Riverside Township Lions have designated Sunday, Nov. 4 as Spectacle Sunday at many of the local churches. On that day, you’ll find receptacles for eyeglasses placed at the various churches. 

Receptacles are also available at numerous places during the year, including the North Riverside Commons and the Riverside Township Hall; the Lions emphasize that you can dispose of used glasses anytime during the year and not just on Spectacle Sunday. 

Collecting eyeglasses is just one of the club’s efforts to serve locally and globally. Recently they were visible with their annual candy sale, and who doesn’t look forward to the annual chicken dinner to help support various causes, mainly within the community.

The Riverside Township Lions Club (full disclosure, I’m the Riverside Township club’s president) is open to men and women who are interested in being philanthropic, while enjoying the camaraderie of others through social and other programs. 

Meetings (luncheon or dinner, it varies) are held on the second Tuesday of the month at Caledonia Senior Living and Memory Care (formerly the Scottish Home) at 2800 Desplaines Ave. in North Riverside. 

For more information on eyeglass collections or the Lions Club call 447-5219.