Photo Credit: DAVID F. ASHTON - St. Agatha Catholic School students Jared Hainley, Zakari Lutz, and Kiriahna Edline show the hundreds of Hot Wheels toys that church families donated to the Oaks Bottom Lions Club to take to a health clinic in Mexico. For several years, members of the Oaks Bottom Lions Club have joined with other clubs in the region to provide eye examinations and eyeglasses to patients they serve in Mexico or other Central American countries.

“Lions Club member Frances Shaw told how many of the older gentlemen of the villages, who come to get eyeglasses, like to wear neckties when they come to the clinic,” explained Jan Hainley, a St. Agatha Catholic School graduate, substitute teacher, parishioner, and the grandparent of a student.

“Last year, the school collected neckties for them to take with them, as gifts to the village men,” Hainley told THE BEE.

Hearing that children who also visit the clinics enjoy playing with “Hot Wheels” toy vehicles, Hainley’s grandson suggested that the school collect new and used toy cars.

“We put out a basket and sign in the front lobby, and people have been very generous,” Hainley said. “483 both new and gently-used ‘Hot Wheels’ toy cars will go down, when they visit the children in Mexico this year.”

To receive the gift was Frances Shaw, a member of the Oaks Bottom Lions Club. “Clubs from the region will be taking about 9,000 eye glasses this year to the Mexico Eye and Health Clinic at El Municipio de Juchipila, Mexico, where we provide services to about 2,000 people.”

Having toys helps at the clinic, Shaw said, “Because at the clinic we also check for blood pressure, and diabetes, well as do vision screening. So, the clients see us at the clinic from three to four hours a day and they usually come in families.

“At the end of their visit, we like to give small gifts,” Shaw explained. “Some of our other Lions clubs donate toothbrushes and toothpaste as well. But the kids have to wait a long time, so it’s nice to have small toys that we can take and give to them.

And, to the St. Agatha Catholic School families, Shaw said, “Thank you so much, for helping our mission.”