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Two Marshall Middle School Girls Focus Their Attention on "Recycle for Sight"

By Paula Green

"If you are working on something exciting that you really care about, you don't have to be pushed. The vision pulls you."

– Steve Jobs

Two Marshall Middle School sixth-grade girls, Srinika Dasari and Aarya Shamkuwar, are actively collecting used eyeglasses for their "Recycle for Sight" project. The girls' story began in 2021 when Sowjanya Dasari contacted Gary Roberson, president of the Northern Allegheny Lions Club, on behalf of her daughter Srinika, who wanted to assist in collecting and recycling used eyeglasses in her community.

Roberson briefed them on Lions Clubs International's longtime program, "Recycle for Sight," and provided Srinika with collection boxes she could place at businesses and sites willing to participate. Expanding upon the club's existing collection efforts, Srinika launched a plan to put boxes at schools and different companies in the North Hills.

In December 2022, Srinika asked her classmate Aarya to partner with her to grow the eyeglass collection effort and deliver them to Mission Vision. This nonprofit distributes recycled eyewear to some of the most impoverished regions in the world. "Srinika and Aarya are terrific examples of what can be accomplished by community-minded young people. The Northern Allegheny Lions are delighted to be their partner in this project," said Roberson.

Mission Vision was established in 2004 by Cranberry Township ophthalmologist Dr. William Christie. To date, Srinika and Aarya have collected over 1,500 pairs of glasses. The nonprofit organization is pleased with the girl's tremendous success. "Aarya and Srinika are the 'dynamic duo' of glasses recycling! Their enthusiasm and energy have helped an idea become a reality, and I am thrilled to see the next generation of 'visionaries' arrive. We have sent the glasses they collected overseas to Africa with several mission teams through Mission Vision," said Dr. Christie.

"Srinika and Aarya have started a groundswell movement for domestic and international support of those with optical needs. I hope it will continue to expand to other students and interested people worldwide," added Mission Vision executive director Terry Snider.

There are collection boxes in North Allegheny and Pine-Richland schools. Additionally, the girls have put boxes at EyeCare Specialties, Eyetique, Visionworks, X-Cel Gymnastics, BJ's Wholesale Club, Pearle Vision- Robinson, America's Best Contacts & Eyeglasses, and Chinmaya Mission Pittsburgh.

Over the summer, Srinika and Aarya will contact senior living facilities and continue collaborating with Lions Clubs in India to help them establish their own "Recycle for Sight" eyeglass collection programs. To further assist with the cause, Srinika recently donated to Mission Vision a $200 Seed Funding grant she was awarded by the North South Foundation's Young Changemakers Journey (YCJ).

In the fall, the girls plan to reach out to more school systems and expand their work with Lions in Mumbai and surrounding areas in India. For more information about "Recycle for Sight," email Gary Roberson, president of Northern Allegheny Lions Club, at

Northern Connection magazine congratulates Srinika and Aarya on their inspiring campaign and wishes them the best in their future endeavors.


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