Yongsan Boy Scout gives gift of sight
June 8, 2009
By Dan Thompson
- Yongsan scout embraces community service
<strong>YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea</strong> - While some high school students may be pondering what they will be doing this summer, one Boy Scout already has an answer: Giving eyesight to those in developing countries.
Boy Scout and Seoul American High School sophomore Paul Shin of Troop 80 in U.S. Army Garrison-Yongsan has been collecting used eyeglasses since May 1, recently concluding his effort May 31.
"So far, I have collected over 250 eyeglasses, which is more than I expected," Shin said. "This summer they will be sent to India, China, Mongolia and parts of Africa."
Shin said his global effort required a lot of preparation and marketing sense. "I prepared ten donation boxes and placed them in busy areas like the PX, Commissary, and Dragon Hill Lodge. I also submitted information to the Commander's Access Channel."
When asked why used eyeglasses are so useful, Shin said there many reasons that may not immediately come to mind. "Vision is really important to reading and writing," he said. "You need good eyesight to develop and get an education. For adults, good eyesight is important to avoiding injuries in the workplace."
Even if the eyeglass prescription is not perfect, recipients may still be able to use donated glasses, he said. "Getting a pair of eyeglasses that is close to one's subscription is better than nothing at all."
Shin said his public service campaign is part of his Eagle Scout preparation. Should he be successful, he will join the ranks of other Eagle Scouts like astronaut Neil Armstrong and Microsoft founder Bill Gates, according to the Boy Scouts of America.
Shin said that helping people is one of his passions, a skill he will need to succeed in his dream career. "I would like to study to become a medical doctor after high school."
Those interested in learning more about the <a href="http://www.troop80korea.org/">Boy Scouts of America Troop 80</a> may visit their Web site.
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