Lion Marlene Payne is a charter member of the Carl Junction Lions Club. She has served as a Volunteer Assistant at KidSight screenings for many years. In the summer of 2017, Lion Marlene was trained and began serving as a Volunteer Technician. Marlene joked “I was asked to help out while a KidSight staff member was on maternity leave. I agreed to volunteer two days per week. I think KidSight forgot to tell me when the maternity leave was over!” Since she became a Volunteer Technician, Marlene has provided KidSight vision screenings for over 2,000 children!

Marlene understands firsthand the importance of detecting pediatric vision problems early. Her daughter was diagnosed with amblyopia at a young age. Fortunately, they were able to use a patch to strengthen the weak eye before she entered school. Now, Marlene is able to provide preventative screenings for children in the community in hopes of detecting vision problems earlier. She says that the most rewarding part of being a Volunteer Technician is hearing the success stories. Marlene said, “I just received an email today from a new screening place and they said “Thanks to KidSight, we have a preschooler in glasses.” It melts my heart!”

Providing screenings in her local community was important to Marlene. She has provided 2,151 screenings at 28 locations in Southwest Missouri since July 1, 2017. That is a total of 115 volunteer hours donated! In addition, she has been able to identify 224 children that needed to be referred on to a local eye care provider. She has also been essential in connecting KidSight with new centers in the area.

As a long time volunteer for KidSight, we asked her what she would say to someone who was on the fence about volunteering. She said, “Get off the fence and get busy! KidSight is the easiset group to work with and you can pick and choose when you volunteer!”