DEAR ABBY: Please ask your readers to trick-or-treat for a worthy cause this Halloween.
We need thousands of volunteer "ghouls and boys" to collect used eyeglasses during the third annual "Sight Night," a program sponsored by Lions Clubs International and LensCrafters. The donated glasses will be recycled and delivered to needy individuals in countries such as Tunisia, Bolivia and Mexico.
In many developing countries, people have little or no access to eye care, and glasses may cost up to one month's wages. The outdated glasses lying around in your drawer may be a precious gift to someone in need.
Last year, Sight Night was a howling success. Volunteers scared up 86,000 pairs of glasses on Halloween. This year, we hope more groups such as Scout troops and school districts will help collect.
Lions Clubs have been collecting and recycling used eyeglasses for those in need for more than 70 years, and have partnered with LensCrafters since 1988.
Abby, if your readers want to scare up some fun this Halloween, urge them to give the gift of sight to kids and adults around the world! -- J. FRANK MOORE III, PRESIDENT, 2001-2002 LIONS CLUBS INTERNATIONAL
DEAR MR. MOORE: Gladly. I know my readers will take your worthwhile cause to their hearts, because it's an effortless way to do good deeds while having fun.
Readers, learn how youth groups can trick-or-treat for used eyeglasses by contacting your local Lions Club or LensCrafters; visit www.sightnight.org, or call the toll-free number 877-605-4242. If trick-or-treaters don't make it to pick up the glasses on Halloween, have no fear, Lions Club and LensCrafters accept used eyeglasses year-round.
P.S. For their safety, young trick-or-treaters should always be accompanied by an adult.
DEAR ABBY: This is for "Dog Deprived in Denver," written by the young man whose parents won't let him get a dog. (He had his heart set on a collie.)
Please don't force a dog on your parents if they don't want one. Dogs are sensitive and highly perceptive. They know when someone doesn't like them. The dog and your parents could end up unhappy -- and so could you. Contrary to what you think, dogs -- especially collies -- need and crave exercise. Please consider this:
We used to agonize over our favorite furry friends being cooped up all day alone. Millions of working couples and single adults who are dog owners often need to work much later than the hour when you get home from school. Why not knock on some doors in your neighborhood or print up fliers and advertise yourself as a "dog buddy"? Your services could include feeding, 30 minutes of playtime and/or a walk -- all for a small fee.
My husband and I would have gladly paid someone like you to provide this service for our dog. You could end up with many loving canine friends, along with some grateful neighbors -- not to mention a tidy little income. This way, everyone ends up happy!
Good luck. We're confident you will someday have lots of wonderful dogs of your own. -- SALLY AND JOE, DOG LOVERS IN NORTHVILLE, MICH.
DEAR SALLY AND JOE: You're barking up the right tree. What a terrific idea for a lonely, animal-loving youngster. Or anyone, for that matter, who has a void that only a furry, four-footed friend can fill.
However, a word to the wise: Kids should speak to their parents before offering their services to strangers.
Dear Abby is written by Pauline Phillips and daughter Jeanne Phillips.
Abby shares more than 100 of her favorite recipes in two booklets: "Abby's Favorite Recipes" and "More Favorite Recipes by Dear Abby." Send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $10 (U.S. funds)
to: Dear Abby -- Cookbooklet Set, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in price.)
4520 Main St., Kansas City, MO 64111; (816) 932-6600