Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

March 10, 2014

Volunteers give gift of sight to Haitians

Lions Clubs collect eyeglasses that help impoverished.

PILATE, Haiti — Hours of traveling on dirt and rock roads that look more like paths winding up and down the mountains brought a group of volunteers to the remote village of Pilate, Haiti. They traveled there to bring sight and as Linda Winkleman of Tipton said, “We are trying to encourage and improve.”

While hoping to fit 1,500 pairs of glasses on kids, Ron Heinshaw, a Lions Club member from Tipton, said, “I brought 6,000 pair of glasses.” There are about 40,000 people in the area. “We came down to do kids. We’ve done a lot of adults,“ he added.

“When we fit them it’s like a whole new world,” said Winkleman. “Now they can see.”

The eye clinic is the brainchild of Kokomo business owner Doug Vaughn, founder of the Haitian Environmental Support Program, with support of the Lions Club who supplied the glasses, knowledge and some of the manpower.

Lions clubs collect used glasses. They clean, classify by power and bag them for missions all over the world.

After each Haitian’s eyes are checked with an Autorefractor, they move to a different room where other missionaries fit them for glasses. Most people in this area have had only minor vision loss, resulting in a shortage of low-power glasses.

“Most of these people don’t really need glasses yet,” said Heinshaw. “[We do] whatever we can do to get them the best that we have to help them.”

Vaugh said they were supposed to start Monday, but, saw the need and started Saturday. “We did 250 people Saturday.”

Noticing how clean and polite people are, Winkleman said, “The people are very patient. Very appreciative. [I] just took a woman who waited 4 hours.”

“It’s been good. I think it’s life changing for the people of Pilate. They have not had eye exams since 1983 — 31 years ago,” said Anita Upchurch from Kokomo. “You see a lot of people smiling.” Upchurch was in Pilate in October 2011. She said, “I’ve seen a lot of changes, good changes, since we were here in 2011.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • KFD Rescue 2 Staffing changes leave Kokomo Fire Department with one rescue truck A shift in how the Kokomo Fire Department is staffed and responds to calls has some firefighters worried they will not have access to all the equipment they need. City officials, however, maintain there will be no change in the quality of service pro

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • BMV offering driver tests in 11 languages INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles is now offering drivers tests in 11 languages other than English that are spoken across Indiana. BMV Commissioner Don Snemis said Wednesday the decision was made at the urging of businesses, un

    July 31, 2014

  • Tionna Brown 02 Kokomo celebrates Tionna Brown's gold medal victories Little boys with pretend gold medals around their necks fought Wednesday to get their pictures taken with a pint-sized superstar who had won three real gold medals for herself. Twelve-year-old Tionna Brown just returned from Texas after competing in

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • Kokomo Police officers reach out to public Tuesday Kokomo police will be out in full force Tuesday in area neighborhoods. In addition to their regular patrols, officers will be out getting to know residents and the issues they may have as part of National Night Out, a crime prevention event. National

    July 30, 2014

  • Feds cite Indiana Medicaid fraud unit over notices INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A federal agency found that the Indiana attorney general's office didn't give proper notice in nearly a quarter of the Medicaid fraud cases it helped prosecute in recent years. A report from the Department of Health and Human Serv

    July 30, 2014

  • Indianapolis man buys 2 $1M tickets in 3 months INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indianapolis man is celebrating his second $1 million Hoosier Lottery prize in the past three months. Lottery officials say Robert Hamilton won a $1 million prize from a scratch-off ticket he bought last week at a convenience s

    July 30, 2014

  • Frankfort teen dies after rescue from Indiana city pool FRANKFORT (AP) — Authorities say a 15-year-old boy pulled from a central Indiana city pool has died. Frankfort Mayor Chris McBarnes says Adrian Alanis died in an Indianapolis hospital on Tuesday, the day after he was rescued from the deep end of the

    July 30, 2014

  • Pence pushing Medicaid alternative during DC trip INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is heading to Washington to seek federal approval of his proposed state-run alternative to traditional Medicaid in order to expand health care coverage for low-income residents. The governor's office says P

    July 30, 2014

  • Two arrested in purse-, wallet-snatching spree

    Two people were arrested late last week in relation to a string of purse and wallet thefts from shopping carts in local department stores.

    July 30, 2014

  • YMCA front rendering NIPSCO donates $50K to YMCA campaign The Northern Indiana Public Service Company donated $50,000 Tuesday to the Kokomo Family YMCA’s Beyond the Bricks campaign to build a new Y in downtown Kokomo.“The Y is a great resource for the community, so we’re glad to help it grow and add to the

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries