lions embelm with the words Lions Association for Sight & Hearing (LASH)

Lions Association for Sight & Hearing (LASH) -- The Lions Association for Sight and Hearing (LASH) of Maryland, Inc. was created and is funded by the Lions Clubs of District 22-A, with the purpose of promoting sight and hearing conservation.

The predecessor of LASH, District 22-A Sight Foundation, was born on April 3, 1962 when Thomas B. Stone (Woodlawn) as the first President, and Sidney T. Shores (Annapolis) and Frank G. Buell (Ellicott City) executed the certificate bringing it into existence. The name and purposes of the original Sight Foundation changed twice during the next 19 years to the Maryland Sight Conservation Association and then to the Sight Association of Maryland Lions Inc. (SAM).

In 1981, the foundation's Constitution and By-Laws were revised and its name was again changed to the Lions Association for Sight and Hearing (LASH). This last change reflected the need to provide services for the hearing impaired, as well as the blind.

The purpose of LASH is to provide an administrative body which will conduct, foster and/or support projects and programs associated with the preservation and restoration of sight and hearing.

Current active LASH projects include: hosting a Fall and Spring Eye Glass Sorting for recycling used eyeglasses and hearing aids; sponsoring Hometown Day with LensCrafters Stores in December for those who need eye exams and glasses; helping club-sponsored individuals obtain hearing exams and hearing aids at minimum costs; and providing financial help for those who need sight and hearing assistance.

LASH is supported financially from Lions clubs' contributions. Each year, Lions and Lioness clubs within District 22-A are asked to make contributions. LASH also derives monies from fundraisers which it sponsors and from individual contributions. All Contributions to LASH are tax deductible and financial support is not restricted to Lions Clubs. Individuals, industry and commerce are most welcomed to provide contributions to further the activities and services provided by LASH.

LASH Hearing Assistance Program Procedures

The LASH Hearing Assistance Program provides low cost, quality hearing aids to needy citizens within the service area of District 22A Lions clubs. Individuals meeting the financial need criteria of total annual household income not exceeding two or three times the Federal poverty guidelines are eligible for assistance. Cost of hearing aids depends upon the income of the recipient and the type of aid provided and can vary from less than $200 per ear for a reconditioned analog hearing aid to around $300 per ear for a reconditioned or new digital aid. The type of aid provided depends upon availability and hearing loss of the client. The price includes the aid, ear mold, fitting, instruction on care and use, and follow up consultation.

Cost of exam is the responsibility of the individual being helped, but is usually covered by Medicare or other insurance accepted by the service provider or may be waived in part or completely based on financial need. In most cases proper correction of hearing deficiency requires aids for both ears. Referring clubs are expected to cover all costs beyond the ability of the client to pay. LASH may be able to assist clubs with limited budgets. If there is no Lions club serving the area where a needy individual lives, LASH will act as the referring Lions club depending on available funds. LASH’s audiology services provider is the Speech, Language, and Hearing Center at Towson University.

Procedures for Requesting Hearing Assistance

Completed LASH Hearing Assistance Request form, Towson University Application for Reduced Fee form with required proof of income, and $10 application fee are submitted to the LASH Hearing Coordinator. The forms and 2012 Federal poverty guidelines are available from the District 22A web site. The LASH Hearing Coordinator will review information provided and, if client is eligible, send a referral to the Speech Language and Hearing Center with copy to client and referring club coordinator. Towson will not accept a patient into the program without this LASH referral. Referrals WILL BE VALID FOR A PERIOD OF ONLY 30 DAYS. It is up to the Club coordinator or the client to see that an appointment is made with the Hearing Center within that period of time or a NEW referral number will be needed. The client will have to make at least three visits to the Hearing Center for testing, fitting, and final adjustment.

When aids have been provided, the bill for services will be sent to the LASH Hearing Coordinator who will see that the LASH Treasurer pays the provider. A bill will be sent to the Club for reimbursement of the cost. The Club works out reimbursement options with the client and forwards a club check to LASH.

Type of Aids Available

LASH provides new digital behind-the-ear aids with a full one year warranty or reconditioned aids with a one year warranty. The new aids are the Lions Affordable Hearing Aid acquired from Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF.) These are high quality commercial digital aids able to assist people with moderate to profound hearing loss. These aids are available only to those individuals whose household income is equal to or less than two times the Federal poverty guidelines. Reconditioned aids are factory refurbished by Starkey and come with a one year warranty. These aids are available for people with household income up to three times the Federal poverty guidelines.

Lions Seeking Hearing Assistance

Lions are not eligible to receive the Lions Affordable Hearing Aid unless they meet the financial need criteria of total household income not exceeding two times the Federal poverty guidelines. Lions not meeting the financial need criteria can be fitted with a reconditioned behind-the-ear aid.

Recycled Hearing Aids

LASH collects behind-the-year and in-the-ear hearing aids for recycling. Please remove batteries when donating hearing aids. Dispose of used batteries safely. Hearing aids and eyeglasses are collected and sorted for recycling semi-annually.

If your club would like more information about this program, please contact 22A Hearing Chair Lion Dale Strait.


Eye Glass & Hearing Aid Recycling

LASH participates in the Lions Clubs International eyeglass recycle program by sponsoring two used eyeglass and hearing aids sortings. Clubs and individuals bring their collected used glasses and hearing aids to the designated location. Lions then sort the glasses and package them for shipment. Thousands of used eyeglasses are sorted semi-annually and shipped to recycling centers for third world use. The behind-the-ear hearing aids are delivered to the Towson Audiology clinic. The in-the-ear hearing aids are recycled. Money received is credited to the LASH account.

Maryland School for the Blind
Knefely Gym
Sign in 7:30 a.m. Instructions for sorting given
Sort 8 a.m. - until done (usually 10 a.m.)

Tips for Collecting Eyeglasses

  • Collect all glasses; including Sunglasses, both prescription and non-prescription.
  • Please do not remove lens from any glasses.
  • If the glasses are metal and broken and you think they may be gold, let LASH check them out.

    Eye Glasses Collecting and Sorting Sale of "Granny Glasses"

    While most used eyeglasses are sent to an recycling place for cleaning, further sorting, and distribution to third world countries, old "granny-style" glasses may be sold to collectors for $$$. For further info, contact:

    Lion Al Ramsey
    c/o LASH Gold Recovery Chair
    P.O. Box 821
    Bel Air, MD 21014

    What is Done with the Collected Eyeglasses?

    Collected eyeglasses are cleaned, repaired and hand-delivered during optical missions to developing countries. These missions are sponsored by Lions and LensCrafters.

    Gift of Sight Program

    The Gift of Sight Program is a partnership between LASH, the your local Lions Club, and LensCrafters. There are three scenarios for this program when the proper paperwork (of course) is provided by the local Club. For truly needy people with no insurance, LASH pays $25 for an eye exam and LensCrafters provides eyeglasses at no charge. For needy people who can provide a partial payment, LASH pays $25 for an eye exam and the patient pays LensCrafters $50 for the eyeglasses.

    For truly needy people with insurance, the insurance covers the eye exam and LensCrafters provides eyeglasses at no charge. A difficult part of the process is the screening of the potential recipients by the local club. LASH recommends the local clubs rely on its budget first and that school children be given first priority. It must be noted that school children on medical assistance receive eye exams and eyeglasses from funding from that program.


    First and foremost, the screening of requests, either adults or students are to be handled as previously done by each Lions Club.

    The Lions Club working with the recipient must call the manager of the LensCrafters store selected and request a VOUCHER. Store manager will advise if there are any free VOUCHERS available. If no VOUCHERS are available, request he/she order them and advise you when they are there. When the Club is advised, the Lion handling the request will forward the form to the recipient.

    Each request for eyeglasses/exams to Lens Crafters needs to be made on a LASH request form, whether glasses are provided through the LensCrafters' Gift of Sight voucher program for free eyeglasses or the L-50 reduced cost program. The request form is prepared in 3 copies. One copy is sent to LensCrafters, one is sent to the recipient, and one is for the club's file.(See LASH, Request Form). A voucher for the L-50 Program will be handled by LensCrafters as well as the voucher for the Gift of Sight Program. LensCrafters stores will have LASH's 501 C-3 number on file. The LensCrafters store will write this number on the voucher and get the recipient's signature when the glasses are provided to complete the process.

    If vouchers for Gift of Sight program are not available, the club can provide reduced cost glasses and exams under the L-50 program. Eyeglasses cost $50 and are paid for by a check payable to LensCrafters. If the recipient requires both eyeglasses and an eye exam, two checks are required: $50 payable to the LensCrafters store for the glasses and $25 check payable to the optometrist office for the eye exam. Deliver checks to the selected LensCrafters manager along with the LASH request form prior to giving the LASH request form to the recipient. Once the recipient gets his/her copy of the LASH request form, he/she must call the LensCrafters manager to make appointments for the exam and eyeglasses. When the glasses are provided, LensCrafters will get the recipient's signature on the voucher, add LASH's 501 C-3 number and the process is complete.


    Students who are on the school lunch program automatically meet the qualifications required. Requests are evaluated one at a time for all other students. The Lions Club receiving the request will make the determination for qualification. Process is same as above. Note: if voucher is available, glasses come under the Gift of Sight program. An exam is always required and check must be forwarded to the optometrist of the selected LensCrafters.

    Regarding the paperwork -- FIVE copies of the Gift of Sight application below are required. One copy goes to the LensCrafters store and another copy is sent directly to the doctor at the selected LensCrafters. These must be received prior to the arrival of the recipient and a check is also required with the form. The third copy is sent to PDG Bill Vogler, Chair of LASH Gift of Sight Program, at 822 Marcie Ct., Bel Air, MD 21014. The fourth copy goes to the recipient and the fifth copy is for your Club’s files.

    THIS PROGRAM WORKS when all the steps are followed. Please make sure the dates at the bottom of the form are completed, and the recipient calls the selected LensCrafters for an appointment. LASH and PDG Bill will help you in any way. Please call or email.