Q: How can I donate?
A: Up until 1991, the foundation had been relying on the annual club donations and Sight Saver Day(formerly called Lions Day or Candy Day) to bring in all of our money.
As stated earlier we borrowed the concept from LCIF when we formed the Knights of the Blind program. If you or your club donates $1,000 to the Knights of the Blind Program, the person in whose name the bequest is made will receive a Knight of the Blind Pin and Plaque. In addition if the donation was $2,500 the honoree would be made a Ruby Knight and receive a ruby jewel in their pin. For $5,000 they would be an Emerald Knight with an emerald jewel. For $7,500 they would be a Sapphire Knight and for $10,000 they would be a Diamond Knight.
Now you ask “Where do I fit in?” If we all get behind the 21st Century Program and make it a reality, we can have our cake and eat it too. That is, have the peace of mind that CLERF can continue to do its good work in your (The Connecticut Lions) name while you support your local sight and blind projects.
Q: What is Eye Registry? What is an Eye Bank?
A: Eye registration is an ongoing task performed by a committee to encourage registration of eyes for the Connecticut Eye Bank & Visual Research Foundation, INC. Every year hundreds of corneal transplants are performed across Connecticut, restoring precious sight to young and old. Anyone can be a donor regardless of age, and you do not need perfect vision to donate! But it is important to let your family know of your desire to be a donor.
An eye bank obtains, medically evaluates and distributes eyes donated by caring individuals for use in corneal transplantation, research and education. Eye banks are non-profit organizations. The Eye Bank Association of America is dedicated to the restoration of sight through the promotion and advancement of eye banking. Member eye banks across the country make possible thousands of corneal transplants annually. The questions presented here are some of the most frequently asked about donation and transplantation. We hope the answers will help you decide to donate and will encourage you to take the necessary steps to ensure that your wishes are respected.
Q: Why should eyes be donated. Will it delay funeral arrangements? is there a cost?
A:There is no substitute for the human eye tissue. The transplantation process depends upon the priceless gift of corneal donation from one human being to the next. Donated human eyes, retinas and corneal tissue are used for transplantation, research and education. Since eye tissue procurement is required to be performed within hours of death. Families may proceed with funeral arrangements without delay or interruption. There is no fee for this donation. It is illegal to buy or sell human eyes, organs and tissues. Any costs associated with eye procurement are absorbed by the Eye Bank placing the donated tissue.
Q: What is the need and success of corneal transplantation?
A: Although more than 45,000 corneal transplants were performed in North America last year, the need for corneal tissue is never satisfied. To date, the use of artificial tissue for transplantation has been unsuccessful. Corneal transplant is one of the most frequently performed human transplant procedures. Since 1960, more than 500,000 corneal transplants have been performed, restoring sight to men, women and children ranging in age from nine days to 103 years. Over 90% of all corneal transplant operations successfully restore the corneal recipient’s vision
Q: How do research and education benefit from eye donations?
A: Research on glaucoma, retinal disease, eye complications of diabetes and other sight disorders benefits from donations because many eye problems cannot be simulated. These studies advance the discovery of the causes and effects of specific eye conditions which lead to new treatments and cures.
Q: How does the Memorial and Recognition Programs work?
A: Memorial Program: A donation is sent to CLERF in memory of the departed person (does not have to be a Lion). When the donation is received by CLERF a letter is sent to the bereaved family expressing condolences and recognizing the benefactor. Memorial Donation Envelopes have been distributed to each Lions Club with a sample package showing how this program works. Memorial Donation Envelopes have been distributed to Funeral homes throughout the Multiple District.
Recognition Program: The Recognition Program is a service to you, your family, club, business or organization, you or other donors may make a gift donation to the Connecticut Lions Eye Research Foundation, Inc. which recognizes a birthday, anniversary, special event or extends get well wishes to a friend, relative or associate. Your gift provides a service through Eye Research when you use this Foundation Recognition Program. A beautiful card, acknowledging your thoughtful gift, with an appropriate inscription will be sent to the recipient being recognized conveying your kind sentiments. If you would like, enclose a picture to be used on the card. A response notice is always sent to the donor acknowledging the gift amount for tax purposes.