Funnies Extra!

Bringing sight to the world

12/11/08 (Thu)

Bringing sight to the world

By STU MERRY

Enough recycled eyeglasses to fit every North Dakotan. That’s more than 635,000. Wow! Talk about a recycling project. But Minot Lions Club member Terry Narum, along with a little help from his friends, has done just that.

The Minot Lions Club began its eyeglass collection and recycling program about 10 years ago. Narum, a Douglas native and 1968 graduate of Garrison High School, agreed to oversee the project until enough eyeglasses were processed to equal the population of the state.

Narum, who has been a Lion since April 1, 1989, credits Jill Martinson, an optometrist from Minot who coincidentally also calls Garrison home, with providing the impetus to get the eyeglass recycling program started. Martinson traveled to Honduras multiple times, taking with her eyeglasses for the citizens of the country.

"She was the reason we really got going," Narum said.

Offering his garage as a storage/processing area, little did he know how the project would grow.

Narum said he has what he calls two "sorts" in his house – some glasses are in the garage. Others are in the entry way … "and all over the house."

Narum said he has from 200-250 large apple boxes of glasses in his home at one time.

The preparation process in the garage made for some cold times, especially in winter. But a couple years ago a heater was installed so eyeglass preparers could work in luxury.

"It’s a little easier to get help when you have a heater," Narum admits.