In 1991, Pris and Andy Baillargeon, members of the Rotary Club of Saco Bay, learned about New Eyes. Needy. Since then the club continues to sponsor the NEW EYES, “glasses for those in need” (formerly known as NEW EYE FOR THE NEEDY). Old eye glasses and precious metals, such as jewelry (real or costume), old watches, broken jewelry, spare cufflinks, earrings, old silver of all kinds, dentures and used dental gold scrap, prescriptions and non-prescription sunglasses and safety glasses are items being sought and collected by the club. The Club has approximately 20 collection boxes throughout the communities in Biddeford, Saco and Old Orchard Beach. Since the club adopted this program approximately 1,000 have been collected and send annually.
New Eyes is a non-profit volunteer organization founded by Julia Lawrence Terry in 1932. Terry from Short Hills was volunteering at a Red Cross food distribution center in New York City when she learned that some of the Depression-aid recipients could not see well enough to sign for food tickets. Since the beginning, New Eyes has provided clearer vision to over 8 million people in the United States and throughout the world. The metal frames received are sent to a refiner and the income received is used to pay for new prescriptions glasses for indigent Americans. Glasses are also shipped to developing countries. Costume jewelry and silverware are sold, proceeds used to provide glasses to the needy.