Sight & Vision Programs
One of the main priorities of all Lions Clubs is vision. From the inception of Lions Clubs International in 1917, Lions have spearheaded projects designed to prevent blindness, improve eye health and eye care for millions of people worldwide. Sight is one of Lions defining causes. Here is what we do at the Thorold Lions Club.
You may have seen a yellow box for eyeglass recycling in a drugstore or optician’s office in your community. If you have eyeglasses you no longer need, please donate them. We accept prescription and reading glasses, sunglasses and especially important: children’s glasses. The Thorold Lions Club has received, sorted and packed more than 50,000 pairs of donated eyeglasses. They are shipped to a facility in Quebec that cleans and grades the glasses by prescription. From there, they are distributed to people around the world.
Being able to see changes a person’s life.
Walk for Dog Guides
Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides is a charity focused on providing specially trained Dog Guides to Canadians with physical and medical disabilities. This national fundraising walk has raised over $13 million since 1985. Dog Guides are provided for free to qualified individuals. The Thorold Lions Club has run a walk at Thorold’s Battle of Beaverdams Park for the past number of years.
Most people think of Dog Guides as being for the visually impaired. The program now trains six distinct types of Dog Guides:
Canine Vision Dog Guides: to increase the mobility and self-confidence of people who are blind or visually impaired. They enable their handlers to travel safely through crowded areas, in traffic and around obstacles.
Hearing Ear Dog Guides: trained to alert owners who are deaf or hard of hearing to sounds they can’t detect. These Dog Guides react to sounds such as the telephone, doorbell, children crying, alarm clocks, fire alarms and more.
Service Dogs: trained to work with people who have medical or physical disabilities by assisting them with tasks such as turning on light switches, opening and closing doors and drawers, assisting with getting into or out of wheelchairs or beds, picking up items and more.
Seizure Response Dogs: helping handlers affected by epilepsy. These specially trained dogs react to seizures by barking for help, activating an alert system, fetching a medical kit or seeking help within a home environment. They provide comfort post-seizure, aiding in a quicker recovery.
Autism Assistance Dog Guides: provide safety and companionship for children who have autism spectrum disorder. Offering calming relief in high-anxiety situations and reducing stress in their children. Bonding with the Dog Guide helps the child and family increase independence and social interaction.
Diabetic Alert Dog Guides: assist and alert people who have type 1 diabetes with hypoglycemic unawareness. The normal symptoms present when blood sugar goes low are reduced or non-existent. The Dog Guides are trained to detect decreases in their handler’s blood sugar levels through scent and alert them in case of a low, and can bark for help or activate an alert system in event of an emergency.