Concord Eyeglass Ministry Changes Lives Through Recycled Eyeglasses

Group photo of Larry Merry, the Concord Eyeglass Ministry team and local helpers at the clinic in Oaxaca, Mexico on April 21, 2017.The Concord Eyeglass Ministry out of Jefferson City, Missouri serves others and changes lives by saving sight through multiple mission trips to Mexico a year. Saving Sight provides recycled glasses to the team through our Eyeglass Recycling Program to help connect underserved people in these areas with access to corrective lenses. Most recently, the Concord Eyeglass Ministry visited the state of Veracruz, Mexico in April for a three day clinic in a rural village in Oaxaca. Over 400 people came to the clinic in hopes of restoring their vision with glasses.

Nestled in the hills of rural Mexico, three small villages are set together with a total population of nearly 2,000 people. In this part of Mexico, the temperature is hot all year long and during the clinic temperatures reached 108 degrees Fahrenheit. “But that didn’t melt the spirit of everyone working in the clinic,” said trip leader Larry Merry. “It is humbling to serve people who are so gracious and who at the same time cannot afford things that we think are a necessity, things like a pair of eyeglasses. It is an awesome experience to change someone’s life with something so simple as a pair of reader glasses!”

Meet Rosenoo Garcia

Rosenoo is 98 years old and he walked to the eyeglass clinic with his young, 83-year-old wife in hopes of restoring his vision. During the clinic, he received his first pair of eyeglasses. He has lived in this rural village since 1957 when the government relocated him here after the dam they built flooded his property. To say he is getting along well would be an understatement because he still cuts firewood to sell as a means of making a living. Rosenoo was very happy with his new glasses because now he can see better to find and cut more firewood. 

Meet Luisa Justina

Beth Perkins with the Concord Eyeglass Ministry had the privilege of serving 82-year-old Luisa Justina at the eyeglass clinic. When Luisa received her first pair of glasses and looked through the corrective lenses, she broke down and cried with joy. She didn’t speak Spanish but spoke a local indigenous language of Mazateco and expressed her gratitude. She was able to see things like never before. Her husband also received glasses the day before. The Concord team echoed Larry Merry's sentiment of what a joy it is to help change people’s lives with a simple pair of glasses. 

(L-R) At 98, Rosenoo Garcia received his first pair of glasses; the 3-day eyeglass clinic was nestled in the hills of rural Oaxaca, Mexico; Luisa Justina cried with joy when she was able to see clearly for the first time through her first pair of eyeglasses.

Do you want to help change lives by saving sight? Getting involved can be as easy as dropping off your used glasses at a collection point in your community. Or volunteer in a hands-on way to sort, clean and read donated glasses. Learn how you can make a difference on our Eyeglass Recycling Program page.