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Food, eye glasses, soda can tabs to help needy Sunday
Manteca Lions including John Hinson will be back at the corner of Yosemite Avenue and Main Street Sunday collecting soda can pull tabs to help sick children. - photo by HIME ROMERO
Dave Macedo has a reason to smile when he thinks about the generosity of Manteca residents.

The Manteca Lions Club past-president and current treasurer was one of the volunteers that made last month’s used glasses and soda can pull tab drive possible. The club set up shop at the corner of Main Street and Yosemite Avenue in the Bedquarters parking lot.

Nobody in the organization had any idea what kind of turnout they were going to have.

In the end, when everything was counted, the Lions Club had collected 1,003 pairs of used eyeglasses and more than 58 pounds of soda can tabs – with every 10 pounds collecting equating to a free weeklong stay for the families of sick children receiving care at the Ronald McDonald House in Merced.

“People just kept coming for the four hours that we were there,” Macedo said. “Restoring vision is what the Lions Club is all about, and we were thrilled to have the turnout that we had on that weekend. It shows a lot about Manteca’s character and their willingness to help.”

And they’re doing it again this weekend.

On Sunday, March 13, the Lions Club will once again be at the Bedquarters parking lot from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to collect eye glasses, soda can pull tabs and non-perishable food items that will be given to the Second Harvest Food Bank.

Despite the large turnout of Manteca residents last month, Macedo said that there were people from as far away as Oregon and Chino that were visiting family in the Manteca area that came down to make donations to help support the cause.

What caught him most off-guard, however, was a four-year-old girl that donated her glasses so that somebody else her age could get a chance to see clearly.

“When we asked her why she was donating her glasses, she said she had outgrown them and she wanted to make sure that some other child had a chance to see like she had,” Macedo said. “It’s hard not to get choked up when you hear things like that. Manteca, as a community, is second to none. Whenever there’s a call to action the residents come out in droves, and that’s the things that makes this town great.”

All of the eyeglasses donated will be refurbished and distributed to needy people throughout America and the rest of the world to those who need prescription glasses but either cannot afford them or don’t have access to medical care that can provide specialized items like those.

Additional information about how to help the Lions Club effort will able available on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.