Even though you have new glasses because your vision has changed, your old eyeglasses can still be of use. Several organisations collect and distribute used prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses, and reading glasses, to those unable to afford them, in both the U.S. and around the world. Donating old glasses is relatively easy to do and gives those who cannot pay for glasses the gift of better sight.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Mailing materials
Contact your local Lions Club to find out how to donate used spectacles in your community. Many clubs maintain drop-boxes in public buildings like post offices. Local optometrists' offices may serve as collection sites for this large, international effort by Lions Clubs all over the world. The Lions Club also provides mailing instructions for those supporters unable to find a local donation box.
Call your local branch of Goodwill Industries to donate glasses in the U.S. The website Charity Guide links Goodwill and LensCrafters with the Lions Club collection system. In some areas, Goodwill may have other programs that also give glasses to those in need.
Ask the folks at your regional recycling organisation for referrals to local groups that welcome donations of used glasses.
Connect with recycling groups at your local college or university. One initiative--called Unite for Sight--to reusing eyeglasses, which originated at the University of California at San Francisco, now has chapters at colleges in other parts of the country.
Tips and warnings
- Donate eyeglasses in good, usable condition only. Even small repairs slow redistribution of glasses to those in need, and some groups that collect glasses cannot do any repairs.
- Ask if non-prescription reading glasses and sunglasses are also accepted.
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