Clubs use eye-catching collection receptacles to spur donations The South Milwaukee Lions Club in Wisconsin once used decades-old plastic buckets to collect eyeglasses around town. Merchants weren’t impressed. “They pushed them to the side,” says Lion Ron Fowler. So Fowler, a retired teacher, went to work in the woodshop in his garage. He used plywood to fashion more than a dozen attractive boxes. Others decorated them. A florist painted flowers on the one for her shop. Fowler parodied a district governor by painting on the Lion’s distinctive mustache. (“He thought it was an honor,” says Fowler.) Did collections increase? “Heck, yes,” says Fowler. “They’re not pushed to the side any more. They’re very obvious.” Fowler has posted the construction instructions on the club’s website, and, among others, Leos sponsored by the Franklin Lions used the instructions to create additional boxes. A regal, handsome lion stands aside the eyeglass collection box at Merchants Bank in Bangor, Pennsylvania. The handcarved lion took a circular path–pun intended–to its current location. A Danish woodcarver made it at a carousel factory at Coney Island in New York in the late 19th century. Richmond Lions bought the lion in 1953 and march it in parades. But most of the time it stands proudly at the bank, attracting eyeballs and helping to generate thousands of donated eyeglasses. Many clubs repurpose old U.S. mail boxes as collection boxes. Lions in Grafton, Wisconsin, not only did that but also made donating easier by placing its box along the busy drive-up lane for a Walgreens pharmacy. (Below) Scout’s honor: Cedarburg Lions in Wisconsin are always prepared to accept eyeglasses. A local Eagle Scout named Paul transformed an old mail box into a bright, shiny collection box, which stands outside a hardware store. Blytheville Lions in Arizona secured an old collection box from FedEx, meticulously painted it and placed it at a busy spot in town on the lot of the auto parts business of President Tommy Abbott. Several hundred eyeglasses were donated within a short time. Thousands of clubs use the attractive collection box offered by Lions Clubs International. Recently redesigned, a set of 10 boxes sells for $69.20. Club Supplies sells about 750 sets a year. For information, search for “Club Supplies” at lionsclubs.org.
Published by International Association of Lions Clubs . View All Articles.
This page can be found at http://digital.lionmagazine.org/article/Thinking+Outside+the+Box/1881915/237959/article.html.