AKRON, Ohio — Feb. 23, 2023 — Goodwill Industries of Akron, Ohio, Inc. (GIA) and the Lions Club delivered 100,000 eyeglasses to people in need overseas over a 15-year period. GIA serves Summit, Portage, Medina, Ashland and Richland Counties.
GIA developed a longstanding partnership with Lion Ann Miller of the Ashland Evening Lions Club that began in 2008 when her daughter, Kathy Pfahler, served as store manager for Goodwill’s Ashland store. As mandated by law, Goodwill could not resell prescription eyeglass donations. Kathy was aware of this and knew how to put them to a great use. She approached president and CEO, Nancy Ellis McClenaghan, and asked if these donations could be provided to the Lions Club and sent overseas to those in need. A 15-year partnership was born.
This year Goodwill and the Ashland Evening Lions Club are celebrating a huge accomplishment. To date, 100,000 pairs of eyeglasses have been cleaned, graded, packaged and delivered to those in need in other countries by physicians and volunteers on medical missions. Goodwill especially thanks Lion Ann Miller and is recognizing her as one of its Champions during its March 2023 Annual Meeting & Celebration of Champions.
“Goodwill is proud of its partnership with the Lions and our shared values,” said Nancy Ellis McClenaghan, president & CEO, GIA. “Goodwill was founded on the concept of sustainability before the term existed. We are grateful to the Lions for extending our efforts to reuse, recycle, and repurpose our donations to help those in need.”
“The Ashland Evening Lions Club has been able to benefit many in need through our shared service projects with Goodwill Industries of Akron,” said Lion Ann Miller. “Not only have we helped over 100,000 people overseas with eyeglass donations, over the years we have expanded our partnership with Goodwill to provide hearing aids, contact lenses, and eyeglass cases to help tornado victims and children’s charities.”
About Goodwill Industries of Akron
Goodwill Industries of Akron is a not-for-profit corporation that helps individuals prepare for, find, and retain employment. Operating in the five-county region of Summit, Portage, Medina, Ashland, and Richland, the Akron-based agency was established in 1927. It is a private, independent organization, operating as an affiliate member of Goodwill Industries International, and a United Way agency in Summit County. Goodwill helps to directly strengthen the region’s workforce through its employment programs and indirectly through the net proceeds from its retail outlets and industrial services division. For more information about GIA, visit www.goodwillakron.org or call 800-989-8428.
Contact: JoLene Gordon