Published November 10, 2023
You may take your eyeglasses for granted, but many visually impaired people are forced to live without them.
According to a study by Onesight and Deloitte, approximately 1.1 billion people, or roughly 1 in 7 individuals worldwide, lack access to a simple pair of glasses and suffer from vision impairment as a result. This staggering number highlights the significant global need for improved access to eye care services and affordable eyeglasses.
For some people, a pair of eyeglasses is more than just a tool to see better. It can also be their lifeline. A woman who does crafts may lose her livelihood if she can’t see clearly. While a visually impaired student who can’t afford to buy glasses may quit school altogether.
So, if you have a pair of old but still functional eyeglasses lying around in your closet, don’t throw them away. Donate them instead. You’ll never know whose life you’ll change with those.
Aside from helping people, you’ll also do Mother Earth a favor. They won’t end up in landfills, and those plastic rims won’t add up to the pollution in our environment.
You can donate eyeglasses to help the poor and homeless through our christian charity online. Visit our homepage to find our online donation form.
Where to Donate Old Eyeglasses
What do with old glasses? If they’re still good for use you can donate it! Here are organizations and businesses that accepts them:
1. Lions Club International (LCI)
LCI is a worldwide community of volunteers engaged in various charitable activities. They also have eyeglass recycling centers in various locations around the world. Seven of them are in the US. Their volunteers collect old but still usable donated glasses and ship them to the nearest eyeglass recycling centers. They are cleaned and carefully packaged there before being sent to eyeglass-dispensing missions.
They accept both sunglasses and reading glasses. Just drop your donation at any Lions or Leos Club collection point near you.
Learn more about donating by visiting the Lion’s Club website.
Harnessing the power of the internet, this charity connects people needing eyeglasses to those with some to spare. They only accept gently used eyeglasses, including prescription glasses, which are uploaded to their website. Anyone needing them must log in to their site and browse which prescription glasses match their needs.
What to do with old prescription glasses? ReSpectacle accepts them! You can ship your donations or drop them off at their drop-off locations all around the US.
Learn more about how you can donate by visiting the ReSpectacle website.
For over 30 years, OneSight has committed to eliminating the global vision care crisis. It has helped people from 46 countries and established permanent vision centers worldwide.
Though they accept old eyeglasses, they only distribute new glasses in their missions. All donated eyewear is channeled to various Lions Club organizations to aid in their projects. You can drop your eyewear donations for them at Sears Optical and Pearle Vision drop-off centers.
Learn more about how you can donate by visiting the OneSight Foundation website.
4. Eyes of Hope
Launched by VSP Global, the Eyes of Hope Project aims to deliver eye care to those who most need it. Aside from mobile clinics, they also collect and distribute used eyeglasses worldwide. They accept new and gently used eyewear.
The VSP Eyes of Hope Program accepts used contact lenses, too, as long as they’re still intact. Some of their beneficiaries include poor communities and victims of natural and manmade disasters.
Learn more about how you can donate by visiting the VSP Vision website.
5. The Lighthouse
Based in Georgia, this charitable institution distributes recycled eyewear around the globe. They accept all types of eyeglasses in any condition. You can send them used phones and hearing aids, too. If you live too far from Georgia and don’t want to ship your donations, they have also partnered with Lions Club International. You can drop off your donations at any Lions collection center around the world.
Learn more about how you can donate by visiting the Lighthouse website.
We all know what Goodwill does. You’ve probably dropped off used clothes at least once in their stores. But did you know you can donate used eyeglasses, too? Yes, Goodwill accepts eyewear donations and matches them with low-income members of the community who need them.
They also partner with other charitable organizations to distribute the donated eyeglasses.
Learn more about how you can donate by visiting the Goodwill website.
Most Walmart Vision Centers accept donated used glasses, including prescription, reading, and sunglasses. You’ll usually find those blue drop-off boxes near the store’s entrance and exit. Just make sure to wrap your eyeglass donation properly so it won’t get damaged inside the box.
Learn more about donating by visiting the Walmart Vision Center website.
8. Lens Crafters
Primarily known as an eyewear retailer, Lens Crafters also accepts donations of gently used prescription and non-prescription eyeglasses. In partnership with OneSight, they distribute the donated glasses to visually impaired people worldwide.
Aside from distributing eyeglasses, they also have vision clinics where volunteer doctors offer free eye exams and consultations to underprivileged patients. Patients can also get their own made-to-order glasses right on-site.
Learn more about how you can donate by visiting the LensCrafters website.
9. David Kind
Like Lens Crafters, David Kind also sells both prescription and non-prescription eyeglasses. But the company also has a program that lets customers trade their old eyeglasses for a $50 discount on their next purchase. The donated eyeglasses are sorted by prescription and given to someone in need.
However, their website’s fine print says that the offer is limited to one per customer. Plus, the brand of your eyeglass donation must also retail for $89 and up.
Learn more about how you can donate by visiting the David King website.
10. Salvation Army
Aside from used clothes, the Salvation Army also accepts various in-kind donations, including old eyeglasses. But they must be clean and undamaged. They sell everything they receive at their thrift stores and use the proceeds to fund their various charity programs.
Salvation Army has drop-off centers all across the US. If there is no drop-off location near you, you can also schedule a pick-up on their site, and they’ll come and get your donation right from your doorstep.
Learn more about how you can donate by visiting the Salvation Army website.
Costco has partnered with organizations like New Eyes for the Needy to donate members’ used glasses from their Optical Centers in warehouses throughout the United States. Donation boxes can be found at Costco Optical locations, where you can drop off your gently used glasses.
It’s important to note that Costco may not accept eyeglasses with broken frames or missing lenses. They typically prefer glasses in good condition that those in need can reuse.
Learn more about how you can donate by visiting the Costco Optical website.
VOSH (Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity) does accept old glasses as donations. VOSH is a nonprofit organization that provides eye care and eyeglasses to underserved communities worldwide.
After conducting eye exams, they collect, clean, measure, and sort used eyeglasses to distribute them to foreign countries. If you want to donate your old glasses to VOSH, you can contact them or visit the VOSH website for more information on the donation process.
13. Local Charity
If you don’t want to drive far or ship your donation, you can always give it to a local charity. That way, the eyeglasses won’t have to travel far and will benefit people from your community. Some optometrists also do eyewear donation drives for their patients who cannot afford prescription eyeglasses. You can visit one and inquire as to how you can make a donation.
Tips When Donating Old Eyeglasses
With many organizations accepting eyeglass donations all across the US, donating eyeglasses can be as easy as grabbing them and dropping them off in donation boxes. But before you do that, here are some tips to make your donation count:
- Don’t donate broken eyeglasses. This one is pretty obvious. If you’re donating eyeglasses, ensure they can still be used by the person receiving them. Otherwise, it will only add to the workload of the volunteers in the organization you’re donating them to.
- Pack your donation securely. Remember that eyeglasses are easily breakable. So, it’s important to pack them securely to reach your intended recipient intact.
- Eyeglass donations can be tax-deductible. This is true if you donate to an accredited organization. The amount of tax deduction will be based on the fair market value of the eyeglasses you’re donating. Since they’re used, you can’t expect a tax deduction on the original price of the eyeglasses.
Let’s Make a Difference
There are numerous places in the United States where you can donate your old eyeglasses and make a positive impact on the lives of those in need. By donating your old eyeglasses, you can help provide clear vision and improve the quality of life for individuals who lack access to proper eye care. Remember, a simple act of donating your old glasses can make a significant difference in someone’s life.
Donate To The Poor & Homeless Of South Florida
Our Father’s House Soup Kitchen has fed the poor and homeless in South Florida over 900,000 hot meals since 1993. Our tax deductible non profit organization also accepts and distributes donations such as clothing, toiletries, shoes, bicycles, and more. You can donate to help the poor and homeless through our website.
About The Author
Judy Ponio is a professional writer and devoted Christian. She has a passion for writing about topics related to morality and helping the poor and homeless. She is the lead author for the Our Father’s House Soup Kitchen blog.
Correct Digital, Inc is paid by private donors to provide website digital marketing services to this non-profit organization.