The holiday season is upon us and it’s the perfect time of year to consider people who might not have access to things we take for granted such as a pair of prescription glasses. Seventy-five percent of people worldwide who struggle with blindness could easily by helped by a pair of glasses. If only it were something they could afford.
While prescription glasses might not seem like a luxury item in the United States, in some African countries, a pair of glasses can cost more than three months’ wages. By donating your old eyeglasses, you’re giving someone an opportunity they wouldn’t otherwise have to read, write, take care of their family, and earn a livelihood. Even in America, there are plenty of people living below the poverty line who have trouble affording eyeglasses for themselves and their children. You may ask, “How can I help?”
Where to Donate Eyeglasses
There are many organizations that have made it their mission to collect eyeglasses and distribute them free of charge to those who can’t afford them. Perhaps the best known is Lions Clubs International.
Lions Clubs International cleans and fixes up these old non-prescription and prescription glasses before donating them to people in need. You can go to Lions Clubs International’s website to see the 17 locations in the U.S. and around the world where they collect glasses. Even if they don’t have a physical office in your city, they may have drop boxes in your community.
Another organization doing similar work is called OneSight. In 2009, they set a goal of donating 1.2 million pairs of glasses through their eyecare clinics around the world. You can search for their donation location nearest you.
If you’re willing to ship your eyeglasses to a non-profit, there are even more organizations to choose from. For example, New Eyes for the Needy, based in New Jersey, accepts sunglasses, and plastic and metal glasses. Even if the lenses are broken, sending your frames could still benefit a person in need. Make sure you package it securely before shipping though.