Better Vision. Better Hearing. Better Georgia.

Our Work

In 2013, the Lighthouse served more people than ever before.

Lighthouse services include:

The reach of the Lighthouse extends across the state, and services have been provided in every county.  The Lighthouse facilitated over 400 eye surgeries last year, provided 4,860 brand new pairs of eyeglasses, and gave 2,620 eye exams. In addition, 962 people received 1,790 hearing aids through our new digital aid program.

To be eligible for services, patients must

  • be uninsured or underinsured and
  • fall below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guideline. The majority of Lighthouse patients, 66 percent, fall below 100% of the FPG. 
As with the uninsured, patients with Medicaid or Medicare coverage are frequently unable to afford comprehensive vision and hearing care.  In Georgia, federal benefits will usually cover eye exams, but not prescription eyeglasses or hearing aids for adults.

Given the lack of available services, many Lighthouse patients have not had proper care for years.  The average age of a Lighthouse patient is 55, and those in the hearing aid program are typically over the age of 65.  Many clients have hypertension (49%) or diabetes (29%), two of the leading causes of blindness, making ongoing eye exams critical to preventative care.

Without routine care, it is not uncommon for vision and hearing loss to worsen over time, gradually restricting mobility and independence.  Others struggle for years with severe impairments that make daily tasks - driving to the store, reading labels, talking on the phone - extremely difficult.  The Lighthouse helps restore self-sufficiency and self-esteem: following eye surgery, 95% of patients are more independent and feel safer; 60% are able to drive again, and 22% are able to resume work. We are now accepting interns. Click here to learn about how you can get involved!

"There is no place in Savannah where low-income people can receive eye care.  This year, by working with the Lighthouse, we will provide more than 500 full eye exams and will fill 800 eyeglass prescriptions.  We had to cap the waiting list at 300 because demand is so intense... It has been phenomenal working with the Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation.  I can't imagine they could operate any better than they do, and they do it all with a caring heart."
- Sister Pat Baber, Director of St. Mary's Community Center, Savannah

Curtis, a skilled craftsman, has been working since he was 15 years old. As a very young boy, Curtis would tag along with his father to work. He watched and learned his craft at his father’s side.

Curtis’ family is a close-knit one, and when his father died a few years ago, Curtis moved home to take care of his elderly mother. Then, at the age of 48, Curtis developed cataracts and quickly lost his sight. His ability to drive, work or even read his mail was gone. He could not take care of himself or his mother. Curtis did not qualify for government assistance and he could not afford the surgery that could save his sight.

When Curtis contacted the Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation it was his last chance for hope and help.

The Lighthouse was able to provide Curtis with sight-restoring eye surgery. Now, not only can he see again, Curtis is back working at the trade he learned from his father. “When you've been working your whole life," he says, "then you get to where you depend on everybody else...You don't know what a gift that is to have your sight back.”