World Sight Day
In 1930, Lion George A. Bonham, President of the Peoria Lions Club (Illinois) introduced the idea of using the white cane with a red band as a means of assisting the blind in independent mobility. The Peoria Lions approved the idea, white canes were made and distributed, and the Peoria City Council adopted an ordinance giving the bearers the right-of-way to cross the street. News of the Club’s activity spread quickly to other Lions Clubs throughout the United States, and their visually handicapped friends experimented with the white canes. Overwhelming acceptance of the white cane idea by the blind and sighted alike quickly gave cane users a unique method of identifying their special needs and this has now spread world wide.
Following this innovation Lions Clubs have taken a special interest in supporting those people with sight problems. Each year they promote World Sight Day where clubs conduct sight related projects to bring these problems to the attention of a wider audience.
Clubs participate in recycling glasses by collecting glasses that are then sent out to developing nations to provide them to people who cannot afford to purchase them. Every year millions of glasses are collected worldwide. Madeline from Whitstable and Herne Bay Lions has been responsible for sending thousands of recycled glasses to the UK distribution centre thanks to the generosity of people in Whitstable and Herne Bay.