ThuRsday Recycle and Reuse: Eyeglasses

Written by Martha on March 18th, 2010
ThuRs Recycle and Reuse

ThuRs Recycle and Reuse

If you are like me, your eyesight keeps changing and you have to get new glasses once every two to three years. The bad news for us is that the new glasses cost money. The good news is that our old glasses can help someone who does not have the resources to purchase them.

According to the World Health Organization, “153 million people are visually impaired because of uncorrected refractive errors (near-sightedness, far-sightedness or astigmatism.) Almost all of them could have normal vision restored with eyeglasses, contact lenses or refractive surgery.”

The process to donate is simple. Call 1-800-CLEANUP and enter “eye” to find the nearest drop off point for you. On the web, will point you to a donation center as well.

One of the largest recyclers of used glasses is One Sight. Three major vision charities – Give the Gift of Sight, the Pearle Foundation, and community I-Care in Australia – merged into One Sight, a global foundation.

To give to One Sight, “drop off your old eyeglasses or sunglasses at any LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, Sears Optical, Target Optical or Sunglass Hut store, or Lions club to help someone in a developing country experience a brighter future. We will clean, repair and classify your glasses by prescription, then personally deliver them on Give the Gift of Sight international optical missions.” To find a convenient drop off location, use the OneSight store locator. Glasses collected by OneSight will benefit fifteen global clinics scheduled for 2010 alone.

New Eyes for the Needy is another group that distributes used glasses where they are needed most.

New Eyes for the Needy provides recycled prescription eyeglasses, sunglasses, and eyeglass cases to many different organizations and individuals for distribution in developing nations. Last year, New Eyes distributed eyeglasses through Physicians for Peace, Feed the Children and the Tree-Land Foundation. These international charitable organizations test and inventory glasses from New Eyes and distribute them to the poor in professionally-staffed vision clinics.

A quote from the Lions Club on their website sums up how important the gift of sight can be.

For children, vision loss can lead to failure in school, delays in development, learning disabilities and even juvenile delinquency. For adults, uncorrected vision can lead to unemployment and the inability to support a family. Seniors with vision loss are limited in performing daily activities, depriving them of an independent lifestyle.

Doesn’t it feel good to know we can help? Gather up any old pairs of glasses and send them on to folks that are in need.

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2 Comments so far ↓

  1. New Eyes for the Needy also welcomes donations of estate and costume jewelry, crystal, silver, china & giftware for re-sale in our Fabulous Finds showroom. The showroom raises money for New Eyes’ U.S. eyeglass program. We can send an acknowledgement for tax purposes if donors request it and provide their name and address.

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