Over two hundred (200) Liberian senior citizens on Monday night received free reading glasses from the Paynesville Lions Club. Each of the eye-glasses and case cost about US$210. The exercise was part of efforts to sustain the Lions Club’s humanitarian service goal of providing vision to those in need. The glasses were distributed to the elders after the screening of their eyes by two eye doctors (ophthalmologists), who begged to remain anonymous to avoid conflict at their official places of work. The screening and distribution was held at the headquarters of the Liberia Crusaders of Peace, located on the Capitol Bypass. The glasses were donated to the Paynesville Lions Club by Dr. Olakunle Oladunni Churchill, a progressive and lifetime member of the Lions Club in Nigeria. Dr. Churchill is the chairman of Big Churchill Heaven Limited and CEO of the Big Church Entertainment.
The incoming President of the Paynesville Lions Club, Mrs. Elizabeth Pelham, said the donation from “a fellow Lion” is timely since it came during Liberia’s 170th Independence Anniversary celebrated on July 26. She thanked Cultural Ambassador Juli Endee for her support and recommendation; she also thanked those who turned out for the occasion. She said that sight is one of the Lions Club’s defining causes. “Lions work to fulfill the mission to restore lost sight, empower the youth, provide relief to those afflicted by nature, and other humanitarian services. We are grateful that through the assistance of Dr. Churchill we are able to distribute reading glasses to improve the sight of those with visual impediments,” Mrs. Pelham said. The outgoing president of the Paynesville Lions Club, Johnson Kwakolo, also thanked Dr. Churchill and Madam Endee.
Dr. Churchill said the Lions Club is an international club that caters to the needs of the less privileged, including the physically challenged. He said that the group has about 1.4 million members and more than 46,000 districts around the world. Accordingly, the Lions Clubs International Foundation, since 1968, supports the efforts of Lions Clubs and partners in serving local and global communities to give hope and impact lives through humanitarian service projects and grants. It was founded by Melvin Jones in 1917.
Meanwhile, Theresa Saah, a beneficiary, appealed to Dr. Churchill and other philanthropists to make available more reading glasses to older Liberians.