In 1925, Helen Keller challenged the Lions to become “Knights of the Blind” in the crusade against darkness. The Juneau Mendenhall Flying Lions have taken this crusade to heart in their eyeglass recycling and vision screening efforts. Providing free vision screening to children is one of the most important things we, as Lions, do.
There’s probably not a Lion reading this that doesn’t see the value in the screening that we do, especially with children. Can you agree? Children can fake the eye exam they get at the school nurse’s office. They hear what the children in front of them are saying, and they mimic. How do I know this? Because we were approached by a mother last year who told us she was not aware her 9 year old son had a vision problem until we screened him. He would fake the eye exam every year at the school nurse’s office. There’s no faking our PlusOptix vision screener.
So our screening has value! Why is it then, that parents avoid us when we’re out in public performing vision screening? We don’t have the plague! We’re just there trying to serve our community.
Now we’re concentrating our efforts in the schools more than ever not only in Juneau but in outlying communities in Southeast. But, again, we have some school nurses who seek us out to schedule vision screening and others who don’t see the value. This month we were asked to screen children at Floyd Dryden Middle School. This was exciting and we felt we took one step forward because we typically are asked to screen only pre-school and kindergarten children. We’ve not been been able to convince the powers that be that all children deserve to have their eyes tested on a regular basis…. I guess once you turn 8, your eyes don’t change….
But we keep plugging away…. we keep reaching out to the school nurses and others who can help us with our cause. We don’t give up, we just try a little harder. It’s that important.
Lion Nancy Norton