Everyone who wears prescription glasses knows that no matter how much you love them, eventually the time comes when you need to get a new pair. It seems a shame to just throw them away, but what else can you do with old prescription glasses? Well, you can donate them to people who need them. There are numerous organisations that take donations of old glasses and use them to help the less fortunate, not only in America but all over the world.
New Eyes for the Needy
The organisation New Eyes for the Needy helps to provide prescription glasses to people in the United States and abroad. New Eyes does this through financial donations, which allow it to distribute vouchers good for new glasses, and through donations of used, unbroken glasses. In 2008 alone, the group bought new glasses for more than 5,000 people in the United States and gave gifts of used glasses to more than 160,000 people in developing countries. If you would like to donate your old prescription glasses to New Eyes for the Needy, simply send your glasses in a padded mailer or well-packaged box to:
New Eyes for the Needy 549 Milburn Ave. P.O. Box 332 Short Hills, NJ 07078
If you happen to live in New Jersey, you can bring your glasses by the New Eyes office and leave them in the drop box, or take them into the office during regular office hours.
In Australia, the Intrepid Foundation accepts gifts of both used eyeglasses and hearing aids, which are sent to the needy in Cambodia and Vietnam. If you live in Australia, you can drop off your donations at any of their retail stores in Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane, Paddington or Newmarket. However, people everywhere can donate their glasses by mailing them to:
Jane Crouch Intrepid Travel P.O. Box 2781 Fitzroy, Victoria 3065, Australia
Lions Club International
If you'd rather donate your glasses without making a trip to the post office, the Lions Club operates an eyeglass donation program in tandem with many optometrists' offices, local libraries, schools and churches. The Lions Club also has 17 eyeglass recycling centres in the United States. If you'd like to find a place where you can drop off your used glasses, you can either call local optometrists and ask if they have a Lions Club donation box on site, or call your local Lions Club directly. The Lions also have dedicated eyeglass recycling centres in Arizona, Nevada, Washington, Texas, Indian, Oregon, New Jersey, Virginia and Wisconsin. If none of these avenues work out for you, you can always mail your glasses in to the Lions as well:
Lions Club International Headquarters Attn: Receiving Department 300W. 22 St. Oak Brook, IL 60523