Swansea churches’ Harvest appeal sets its sights on making a difference

A Harvest Appeal with a difference takes place in several Swansea churches this October.

In association with Gower and Llwchwr Estuary Lions Club, the Parishes of Killay and Tycoch Harvest Appeal are inviting people to bring to church any unused and unwanted spectacles, as part of the Lions Clubs International Eyeglass Recycling Project.

Vicar of Killay, Canon Phil Gwynn, said: “In just about any home, can be found multiple pairs of eyeglasses that are no longer being used. That same pair of eyeglasses could change another person’s life.

“David (a Lions volunteer) went out to Africa with Lions Eyeglass Recycling and met many families there. In one of the families was a man who appeared to be totally blind, who was with his family. This man was given a recycled pair of spectacles. As soon as he put the glasses on, he could see his family – for the very first time he was able to see his wife and his children.

“He became very excited because he could see. But he realised that these weren’t actually his glasses, so he felt he should return them and drift back into the haze he had been suffering over many years. Members of Lions International told him he could keep the glasses – no words are adequate to express this man’s joy. As Jesus does many times in scripture, the man was able to regain clear vision.”

Lions have set up regional Eyeglass Recycling Centres, where volunteers clean, sort by prescription the strength and repackage the glasses. Recycled glasses are then distributed to people throughout the world.

“We are told that currently glasses are being sent to the Philippines – where the recent Typhoon Mangkut has struck,” Canon Phil said. “Donate glasses this Harvest as a vision of practical outreach. Imagine if you could help a child to read, an adult succeed in getting a job to be able to provide for his family, a senior person maintain her independence and provide communities with more opportunities to grow and thrive.”

Throughout the month of October, but especially over Harvest Festivals, there will be Lions-sponsored collection boxes at St Hilary (11am) and St Martin’s (8am/9am) in Killay/Dunvant and also at All Souls Church (9.30am) in Tycoch.

For more information contact Canon Phillip Gwynn phillip@gwynn.org.uk or visit Lions Eyeglass Recycling web-site.