Tree-Land Foundation Inc.

Helping young people learn to grow by creating hands-on, local and international environmental education programs that benefit the earth and its inhabitants and foster an “attitude of gratitude” among participants.





NOTE:  The following information is part of a Proposal for an international Project Tree-Land Foundation began working on the summer of 2001.  Updated Project information and photographs will be accessible here as available.  We will be in Merida, Yucatan in mid-August working with Yucatan government people and Rotary and Lions Club members making arrangements.  Please check back!

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In the U.S. – a Rotary Interact Club Project created by Tree-Land Foundation, Inc.

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part of Rotary International’s AVOIDABLE BLINDNESS PROGRAM created by

Frank Devlyn, Devlyn Optical Co., and the United Rotary Clubs of Mexico

Created by Tree-Land Foundation, Inc.


Robert Martin, Member of Rockville Rotary & Executive Director of Tree-Land Foundation, Inc.

Rockville Rotary, Rockville , Maryland

Club Rotario Nuevas Generaciones (New Generations Rotary Club), Merida, Yucatan, Mexico

Frank Devlyn and Devlyn Optical Company, Mexico City , Mexico

Fondo Unido Rotario de Mexico (United Rotary Clubs of Mexico)

Interact Club sponsored by Rotary Clubs of Frederick , Maryland

Lions Clubs in U.S. and Merida , Yucatan , Mexico

Rotary International’s Avoidable Blindness Program

“Programa Regala Una Buena Vision” (Gift of Better Vision Program)

  “Ver Mejor Para Aprende Mas” Project (See Better to Learn More Project)

 [ NOTE:  The roles of these organizations and programs is briefly detailed at the end  ]


This Proposal creates a new REGALA UNA BUENA VISION (GIFT OF BETTER VISION) Program location in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico, and makes it more widely available throughout the Yucatan Peninsula via a mobile vision-screening facility.  The REGALA Program currently provides low-to-no-cost prescription eyeglasses to indigent people from a storefront clinic in Mexico City . 

A small, non-professional staff (no Optometrists or Ophthalmologists) uses modern electronic equipment and an extremely ingenious computer program* to determine and categorize the lens prescriptions and storage locations for used, donated eyeglasses. The staff can determine each patient’s specific vision/prescription needs, retrieve the warehoused, computer-prescribed eyeglasses, and fit them to the patient in less than 5 minutes.  They can help nearly 80% of their clientele.  Patients with eye problems like cataracts, glaucoma, etc. are referred to medical professionals.

Contemporaneously, OLD GLASSES FOR NEW EYES, a current youth Rotary Interact Project in Frederick, Maryland, collects, sorts, and packages used eyeglasses for shipment to Mexico. It will continue and be expanded to involve other Interact and Rotoract Clubs (and possibly Lions Leo Clubs) in collection efforts to increase clinic inventories of eyeglasses.  Tree-Land currently has between 30,000 and 50,000 pairs of donated, usable eyeglasses and cases boxed and prepared for shipment.

There has been conversation between Frank Devlyn and officials from the U.N. World Health Organization about expansion of this program to additional countries.  Thus far, creation, coordination, and expansion of these two projects in the U.S. and Mexico has been funded, and carried-out by the non-profit Tree-Land Foundation, Inc. and Robert Martin, its co-founder and executive director. 

* At best, finding and matching one pair of used prescription eyeglasses from among many thousands to a specific patient’s needs has been a time-consuming, hit-or-miss proposition.  The precision and efficiency of this computer program greatly increases:  the opportunity to quickly and inexpensively correct more peoples’ vision problems, the accuracy of prescription fulfillment, the value of used eyeglasses, the importance of increased eyeglasses collection programs, as well as literacy and work productivity for many thousands of people.


  • Create a “Gift of Better Vision” clinic in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico

    • Establish a storefront clinic (possibly in Merida’s existing Lion’s Club Medical Clinic) through collaboration between U.S. and Mexican Rotary and Lions Clubs
    • Fund clinic establishment, equipment acquisitions,* and staffing needs through U.S. and Mexican Club donations and Rotary Foundation grants
    • Work with Yucatan and Mexican government organizations to eliminate existing tariff costs and/or restrictions on imported, donated eyeglasses and necessary diagnostic equipment
    • Arrange for transport of groups and necessary funding to bring eligible patients to the clinic

*   necessary equipment includes a lensometer @ $3000 to determine prescriptions of donated eyeglasses, an auto-refractor @ $8000 to determine patient’s vision prescription need, a computer, storage shelves, bin boxes, storage bags, clinic office furniture

  • Create a “GIFT OF BETTER VISION” mobile clinic for the Yucatan Peninsula

    • Acquire a vehicle and a auto-refractor to serve as a mobile vision-screening facility that can travel to small, more distant villages (and later return to deliver eyeglasses)
    • Hire staff for the clinic (Need is for a computer person and 3-4 additional people to staff the clinic, cleaning, cataloging, and storing eyeglasses, working with patients.  Estimated employee/year cost is $3000-$5000 per person)
    • Staff the mobile clinic with volunteer help from Mexico Rotary (and Lions Clubs) and visiting youth participants from Rotary and Lions youth organizations and Tree-Land’s ONE AMERICA Program
  • Create a “turn-key” international Rotary Interact/Rotoract Club and Lions Leo Club project

    • Collect donated eyeglasses through schools
    • Involve numerous local (and national) U.S. Rotary and Lions youth clubs in used eyeglasses collection and processing projects to supply donated eyewear from the U.S. to Mexico
    • Offer adult Rotary and Lions Clubs the opportunity to sponsor, and youth members the opportunity to travel to Mexico and participate there at the “delivery” end of the program
  • Establish and/or increase membership in new Interact/Rotoract and Leo Clubs

    • Give potential youth members a “reason” to join and belong that extends beyond their immediate community
    • Give youth members a realistic opportunity for foreign travel-participation (with possible financial assistance)

  • Create stronger collaborative ties between Rotary and Lions Clubs

    • Each organization in the and Mexico currently have different “signature” projects from each other (e.g. Lions in U.S. collect glasses, Rotary in Mexico does vision programs)
    • Use the interaction of the two organizations to compound the benefits each brings to this effort
  •   Expand these programs to other countries


o        Get Rockville Rotary to adopt and approve initiation of this (these) Program(s) (possibly getting commitment for more than one year…)

o        Establish funding needs to go forward (Estimated initial, first year need is approximately $150,000 for shipping, equipment, travel, clinic-establishment, mobile clinic costs, etc.)

o        Contact and educate District Clubs about the Program(s)

o        Encourage establishment of new youth Clubs

o        Get Clubs to sponsor Interact-Rotoract-Leo Clubs in eyeglasses collection in schools

o        Speak to individual, regional Rotary and Lions clubs about the Program(s)

o        Solicit Club funding and application of/for matching International Grants

o        Approach Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation with Letter of Inquiry for funding

o        Continue collecting and boxing already donated eyeglasses with Frederick County Rotary Interact volunteers

o        Ship (30,000 to 50,000) already-collected eyeglasses to Merida

o        (Continue to) Work with Rotary Club (Nuevas Generaciones) in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico to solve shipping acceptance issues, establish clinic, etc.

o        Coordinate clinic establishment with the Devlyn people, United Rotaries of Mexico, acquire computer program, etc.

o        Organize youth participation trips to Mexico

o        Publicize program(s) locally and nationally through websites, articles, speaking engagements, Rotary and/or Lions publications, other media

o        Make this a “signature program” for Rockville Rotary, this Rotary District, Lions Clubs

o        Expand the Program Clinic locations to other countries



Tree-Land Foundation, Inc. & Robert Martin

A U.S. non-profit (NGO) involved in conservation, environmental education, and youth cultural programs in U.S. and Mexico; Robert Martin is the Foundation’s co-founder, its Executive Director, the project creator, administrator, and coordinator between the organizations and countries involved, and International Projects Chairman of Rockville Rotary

Rockville Rotary, Rockville, Maryland

The local Rotary Club in the U.S. spearheading implementation of this program

Club Rotario Nuevas Generaciones (New Generations Rotary Club, Merida, Yucatan)

Working to establish the GIFT OF BETTER VISION Program and clinic in Merida

Frank Devlyn and Devlyn Optical Company Mexico City

Prominent Mexican businessman, 2000-2001 President of Rotary International, 2001 Mexican Businessman of the Year, Executive Board Member Goodwill International, President of Devlyn Optical chain of 500 retail stores throughout Mexico, Central, and South America

Fondo Unido Rotario de Mexico (Rotary International of Mexico)

Collaborators and project facilitators with Devlyn Company in Mexico

Interact Club of Frederick, Maryland sponsored by Frederick Rotary Clubs

The Interact Club involved in the sorting, packaging and shipping of used eyeglasses   

Lions Clubs (In the U.S. and in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico)

Collaborators for eyeglasses collection in the U.S. ; they operate a medical clinic in Merida, Yucatan potentially available for a vision screening clinic there

Rotary International’s Avoidable Blindness Program

The Old Glasses for Young Eyes Interact Program would become part of the Rotary International Avoidable Blindness Program effort to diagnose, treat, and eliminate various vision problems throughout the world

Programa Regala Una Buena Vision (Gift of Better Vision Program) 

The store-front operation in Mexico City operated by Rotary International of Mexico and the Devlyn Company, the “delivery system” for the “Ver Mejor Para Aprender Mas” Project (see below); it works with Red Cross, Rotary Clubs and many other organizations that help poor and needy communities

Ver Mejor Para Aprender Mas" Project (See Better to Learn More)

A vision screening, eyeglasses distribution, literacy program for disadvantaged people created in 1998 by Mexico’s Devlyn Optical Company


                    Our Philosophy - R. Martin

                                "If you want to touch the past... touch a stone.

                                   If you want to touch the present... touch a tree.

                                            If you want to touch the future... touch a child."



Home     How We Began    Using Tree-Land Property    ONE AMERICA Program    Gift of Better Vision Program    

Old Glasses for New Eyes Project    Funding    Contact Us    


© 2003 Tree-Land Foundation, Inc.

    Email:     Tel.:  ( 301) 471- 9998     P. O. Box 535 , Myersville, MD 21773 USA  

WITH GREAT APPRECIATIONThis website was designed and created for Tree-Land Foundation by the delightful Beatriz Wallace, an intelligent, very talented and lovely woman who's a student at Amherst College, Amherst, Mass.  Thank you, Bea!
                                                                                                                                                                             Last modified: August 05, 2005