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Leighana is helping others see a brighter future

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When Leighana’s mum decided to clean out her cupboards to make way for some new Tupperware, she never imagined it would lead to her shy eight-year-old helping hundreds regain their sight.

The “COVID Cleanout”, as mum Jess Blanch called it, was just about making some much-needed space.

However, after finding four unused pairs of prescription glasses, Leighana was on a mission to find a new purpose for them.

With the help of her laptop, she found the charity Lions Outback Vision.

The group collects unused prescription glasses and recycles them, distributing them among those with vision impairment living in remote communities.

The collection will also form part of achieving her service badge for Girl Guides.

Leighana, who is a member of the Beresfield Thornton Junior Girl Guides, has been passionately collecting her badges since she was six.

This year, she hopes to gain her junior BP badge.

After the bright Beresfield resident dropped a collection box at six of her local stores, she impatiently waited for any response.

“I shared it on social media and just watched it go crazy,” Jess said.

“Leighana couldn’t see how much it was being shared online obviously, she doesn’t have social media, so she didn’t understand when I was telling her how much it was getting shared.

“It wasn’t until the next day when we came down to the shop and I said to her in the car ‘how many do you think will be in there?’

“She said 10. Of course, at that age there is no concept of numbers, so when we came in and she saw the box the first thing she said was ‘someone’s broken our box’ but Andrew [post office employee] had to break the box to fit more glasses in.”

There were 85 pairs inside.

Within a week, Leighana has collected almost 400 pairs.

“It’s more than I thought,” Leighana said.

“I even got a note from someone who said some supportive things.”

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