For the about last four years the United Methodist Women’s Eve Circle of Crawford Street United Methodist Church in Vicksburg has been participating in a mission project called Project 20/20. Project 20/20 is a United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) whose purpose is to prevent blindness and improve vision among the needy in underdeveloped areas of the world.
To participate, churches collect used sunglasses, eyeglasses and cases as well as funds. Sunglasses — prescription and non-prescription — help prevent eye diseases and blindness due to intense sunlight, wind and dust in tropical and high altitude countries. Eyeglasses are provided to improve vision. Funds are used to support the project and to help send optometry students on missions to provide eye exams and to dispense glasses while being ambassadors for God. In cooperation with the Southern School of Optometry, the glasses are prepared to be sent with mission teams.
This project is spear-headed by Nevin Robbins, who is a member of Emmanuel United Methodist Church in Memphis.
This year along with collecting glasses, Eve Circle decided to ask other United Methodist churches to participate. Thirteen churches in the Vicksburg and Jackson area volunteered to participate, as well as seven local businesses. In all, 805 pairs of glasses and 333 cases were collected. In addition to the glasses, $800 was raised to sponsor a student — Brett Wagner — on a mission trip to San Pedro Sal, Honduras in May. Wagner is from Tulsa, Okla., and grew up in Asbury UMC. He just finished his first year student at the Southern College of Optometry and plans to speak about his trip at Crawford Street sometime this fall.
For information about Project 20/20, visit www.project2020.org.