BROOKINGS, S.D. - 4-H members from across South Dakota collected 3,285 eyeglasses for the 2020-2021 South Dakota 4-H community service project, “20/20 Vision.” The eyeglasses collected through the project were primarily donated to the South Dakota Lions Foundation, which collects thousands of eyeglasses annually for volunteer missions.
Every year, South Dakota 4-H establishes a statewide community service project. Through this year’s project, 4-H members and supporters aimed to donate 2,020 pairs of eyeglasses to follow the theme of the year 2020 and the 20/20 Vision Project title. However, this goal was surpassed by over 1,000 pairs.
“Seeing youth generate a positive impact in their communities is among the greatest privileges I experience,” said Tim Tanner, South Dakota 4-H Program Director.
The county 4-H program that creates the greatest impact with the annual statewide community service project is recognized for their commitment to serving their community and helping members recognize the importance of giving. Butte/Lawrence County 4-H received this year’s honor after donating over 800 pairs, which is nearly 25% of all eyeglasses donated statewide. The county program will receive a plaque recognizing their effort.
“When it comes to community service and partnering with others, Butte and Lawrence counties rise to the task and generate great momentum and success,” said Michelle May, 4-H Youth Program Advisor for Butte/Lawrence County. “One thing that I believe aided in the success of such an outcome is the way that our 4-H clubs and counties involved adult and youth leadership. Our 4-H club leaders asked and assigned youth leaders to take on tasks with this, and with excellence and excitement, they rose to meet those tasks.”
“Service-learning initiatives like the 20/20 Vision Project help youth build a brighter future for South Dakota and develop a life-long commitment to caring for others.”
To increase the number of donations in their counties, some Butte/Lawrence County 4-H members set up collection boxes at their local optometry offices, which encouraged those who wear eyeglasses to find gently used pairs to donate.
At the conclusion of the project, many eyeglasses were placed in Lions Club eyeglass receptacles located around the state. Most of the recycled glasses collected by the South Dakota Lions Foundation are distributed to people in need in developing countries.
“Service-learning initiatives like the 20/20 Vision Project help youth build a brighter future for South Dakota and develop a life-long commitment to caring for others,” said Tanner.
For more information regarding current and future statewide community service projects through South Dakota 4-H, contact Hilary Risner, SDSU Extension Regional 4-H Youth Program Advisor, at 605-394-1722 or email@example.com.