Davenport students collect 637 eyeglasses for people in Belize

Students from Assumption High School in Davenport sort through eyeglasses they collected for the people of Belize. The students, from left, are Jamie Blaser, Mary Agnoli and Christine Harb.

Three students at Assumption High School in Davenport have collected approximately $40,000 worth of eyeglasses — 637 pairs — to help people in the Central American country of Belize to see more clearly. And more eyeglasses are coming.

“We would like to just thank everyone who donated so generously to our cause! We would never have been able to collect so many glasses without their help,” said Mary Agnoli, one of three Assumption students who organized the effort. “We far surpassed our goal of 100 pairs of eyeglasses, and now over 600 people in Belize will have the chance to see clearly,” she added.

The impetus for “Bringing Belize a Clear Future” was the work of the Belize Medical Mission, based in Arlington Heights, Ill., and Christ the King Parish in Moline, Ill. According to the mission group, one item that always seemed to be in short supply was eyeglasses. They identified a need for prescription, reading and even sunglasses among both children and adults.

Jamie Blaser, a junior at Assumption, had the opportunity to join her father, Dr. Mark Blaser, and five other medical professionals on their 2009 mission trip. Upon returning she shared her experiences with classmates Mary Agnoli and Christine Harb.


For a service project assignment, the three decided they would help provide eyeglasses to the poor of Belize with a “Bringing Belize a Clear Future” campaign. They set up collection boxes at Assumption, Davenport-area parishes and diocesan headquarters in Davenport. Reading glasses, prescription glasses and sunglasses were donated during the months of March and April.

“Look for us next year when ‘Bringing Belize a Clear Future’ will try to break this amazing record!” Mary said.        

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