Program Aids Those Needing Sight Care

For years, Dr. Jim Perry of Perry Optical in Cabool and Dr. Matthew Pigg of the Ream Optometry in Houston and have been a working partner in the Houston Lions Club Eye-Care Program for local residents in need.

The Lions Club recently honored Dr. Jim Perry, Dr. Matthew Pigg and their staffs for their professional care and conscientious service to the community.

The program would not be possible without direct assistance from Perry and Pigg. Both Dr. Perry and Dr. Pigg provide free eye exams for clients in need and the Houston Lions’ Club provides a voucher to purchase a pair of glasses. It has a maximum ceiling of $75 that usually covers the cost of a pair of glasses. If the cost is less, the funds left over are kept in the Lions Club account to be used by other persons in need. The voucher has a month time limit designed to encourage the person to take advantage of the program. Both Perry and Pigg understand that the vouchers are for basic eyeglasses only and not for any additions features like tinted sunglasses.

Mike Brown of the Lions Club is entrusted with preparing the vouchers and also striving to make sure that the monies are spent as intended to assist as many individuals in need as possible.

Each time a voucher is provided for a needy person (most of which are children), Brown makes it a point to explain that the vouchers are funded through community projects such as the annual Lions Club Fish Fry. He said most of the recipients (and/or their legal guardians) are very impressed with the information. Some have tried to donate something toward the program themselves and Brown suggests that they come by and enjoy next year’s fish fry. While attending the fish fry they can let other folks know how the club has helped them.

Brown also assists Texas County residents in working with the National Mid-South Lions Eye Care program that helps people who need corrective eye surgery. This program is headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., and is free to approved patients. There is no immediate expense to the local club since the program is supported by various club donations and other charitable giving. Mid-South has six approved hospital locations where these surgeries can be done, including Phelps County Regional Medical Center at Rolla.

Another part of Brown’s work for the Lions Club is regularly gathering eye glasses from various collection boxes in the Texas County community. There is also an eye glasses barrel at the Lions Den. Last fall, Brown and his wife, Kathy, emptied the barrel and delivered the glasses to Lions Eye Foundation in Jefferson City. More than 750 pairs of eye glasses were donated by the citizens of Texas County. When the barrel fills again they will make another trip north to Jefferson City.

Brown, Dr. Perry and Dr. Pigg are an example of the kind of individuals that do an enormous amount of behind the scenes projects and charitable work to make Texas County a better place to live.

Lions Club is an international network of 1.3 million men and women in 202 countries and geographic areas who work together to answer the needs that challenge communities around the world.

Known for working to end preventable blindness, Lions participate in a vast variety of projects important to their communities. These projects range from cleaning up local parks, assisting local elderly, distributing glasses to those in need to providing supplies for the victims of natural disasters.

Beginning in 1917, the association of Lions Clubs has provided millions of people with the opportunity to give something back to their communities. To become a member contact a local Lions Club member or attend a Lions Club meeting on Fridays at noon at the Lions Club on North U.S. 63 in Houston.

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