Low income residents of Oregon may receive free eyeglasses and exams from the Oregon Lions Sight and Hearing Foundation. Individuals who meet the qualifications of the program, including people who lack health insurance, may be eligible for a variety of free basic health care programs, including prescription glasses or hearing aids, from the Lions Clubs. Some of the resources are even offered in the northern California region.
The foundation is committed to helping adults and children across Oregon, northern California, and cities such as Portland pay for eyeglasses and/or exams. There are almost 200 different local clubs and organizations that may be participating in the program.
Resources are limited, and they may run out or the program may end at any time. In general, assistance is offered for U.S. residents who are 18 years of age or older and who meet certain low income government guidelines. All services and vouchers are provided for free to qualified participants.
The Lions Sight and Hearing Foundation, or OLSHF, runs the Lions Eyeglass Assistance Program (LEAP) in the Pacific northwest. Local Lions Clubs organizations are provided vouchers for free exams and free eyeglasses, and those vouchers are then distributed to those who need help. Over 500 vision professionals, eye doctors, and retailers are participating in this particular program.
Receiving glasses is not the only resource offered for individuals. The Lions Clubs foundation can offer or coordinate other basic health and medical services as well. This can include, but is not limited to, surgeries to save sight and hearing, free mobile health screenings, eye and hearing exams for visually impaired children, and the non-profit can also distribute refurbished hearing aids. Examples of the services offered are below.
The Mobile Health Screening Program provides free preventative health screenings and check ups at schools and community events throughout Oregon. If you do require surgery or have complicated symptoms, then you may be eligible for the Patient Care Program. This was created to help Oregon and northern California families receive the ear, eye or hearing surgery or treatments that they need but cannot afford the medical bills for.
Children can be served by the Lions Clubs of Oregon Low Vision Clinic. For over the last 20 years this clinic has been serving children with visual impairment. It operates from Coos Bay to Ontario and Portland to Ashland Oregon. So exams, glasses, consultations and more can be provided to them, as no one wants to see children or teenagers go without the care they need.
The Hearing Aid Bank was also created by the Lions of Oregon. Seniors and others can receive free yet high quality rebuilt hearing aids. This is available if your income will not allow you to afford to purchase your own new aids. This is offered at most Lions in Oregon, and they rely on donations from the community and the kindness of volunteers to help administer the resource. Other charities and non-profits may partner together with the local Lion Clubs centers.
While the main program provides free eye exams and eyeglasses to qualified families and individuals living in Oregon and Northern California, in a typical year tens of thousands of people will receive some form of help from the Lions Club centers in Portland and across the state.
To learn more, apply for assistance, or find a center near you, dial (971) 270-0203. The foundation is based out of an office at 1010 NW 22nd Avenue, #144, Portland, OR 97210. There is a formal application process in place, and most people will be notified with 10 days as to whether they qualify for help or not.
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