Where to Donate Old Eyeglasses
Published May 26, 2020
You may take your eyeglasses for granted, but many visually-impaired people are forced to live without it.
According to researchers, there are over a billion people around the world who need eyeglasses but don’t have access to them. At this scale, it’s one of the biggest health crises you’ve never heard of.
For these 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 with no access to proper eyewear may end up quitting school altogether.
So if you have a pair of still functional old 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 be doing 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.
If we’ve already convinced you to donate your old eyeglasses and is now asking where to, here are some places you can check out.
Founded in 1932, this non-profit organization has already provided recycled eyeglasses to over 9 million people around the world. They also have a voucher program that provides new prescription glasses for Americans who couldn’t afford one. You can mail your donation in padded envelopes or boxes to their address here. All donations including shipping fee are tax-deductible.
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 usable glasses and ship them to the nearest eyeglass recycling centers. There they are cleaned and carefully packaged 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.
Harnessing the power of the internet, this charity connects people needing eyeglasses to those with some to spare. All donations, including prescription glasses, are uploaded to their website. Anyone needing them simply has to log-in to their site and browse which prescription glasses match their needs.
You can ship your donations or drop them off at their drop-off locations all around the US.
For more than 30 years, OneSight has stayed true to its commitment to eliminating the global vision care crisis. It has helped people from 46 countries and has established permanent vision centers around the world.
Though they accept old eyeglasses, they only distribute new glasses in their missions. All donated eyewear are channeled to various Lions organizations to aid in their projects. You can drop your eyewear donations for them at the LensCrafters, Sears Optical, and Pearle Vision drop-off centers.
5. Eyes of Hope
Launched by VSP Global, the Eyes of Hope Project aims to deliver eye care to those who need it the most. Aside from mobile clinics, they are also collecting and distributing used eyeglasses around the world. Some of their beneficiaries include poor communities and victims of natural and manmade disasters.
Based off of 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 centers around the world.
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 needs them. They also partner with other charitable organizations to distribute the donated eyeglasses.
Most Walmart Vision Centers accept donations of used glasses including prescription, reading, and even sunglasses. You’ll usually find those blue drop-off boxes near the store’s entrance and exit. Just make sure to wrap your donation properly so they won’t get damaged inside the box.
9. Local Charity
If you don’t want to drive far or ship your donation, you can always give them 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.
About The Author
Judy Ponio is a full time blogger and is devoted to topics about charity, kindness, and Christianity. She is part of Correct Digital, Inc which is paid by private donors to provide website digital marketing services to this non-profit organization.