If you just bought a brand new pair of eyeglasses from us at 39DollarGlasses, you may be wondering what you should do with your old pair. First, if your prescription hasn’t changed much, it may be a good idea to keep a backup just in case. However, if you already have more than a few extra pairs laying around that are still in good condition, you should consider donating them. Instead of sending them off to the landfill, give your glasses a second life by giving them to someone in need.
There are a number of nonprofits that assist those unable to tend to their vision needs here in the US and internationally with services such as free eye exams, glasses fittings and more. These organizations will take your gently worn glasses, clean them, and match them with someone with the same prescription who may not otherwise have access to obtain a pair of their own. So while you clean out your junk drawer, you can do some good, too. Read on to learn how you can help.
Where You Can Donate Used Eyewear
The Lion’s Club, a global volunteer organization, has eyeglass recycling centers all over the world that will sort them and then place them “in inventory for distribution to optical missions around the world.” Locate the nearest location to you to find how you can donate here.
The Lion’s Club have also teamed up with Walmart & America’s Best to facilitate donation boxes for even easier giving. Contact stores near you to find participating locations.
OneSight is a nonprofit dedicated to providing eye care to those who need it around the world. To collect glasses for donations, they’ve partnered with participating LensCrafters, Target Optical and Pearle Vision. Contact your local store to find your nearest drop-off location.
If you prefer to donate from the comfort of your own home, ReSpectacle accepts mail-in donations of gently used prescription eyewear. They then upload their inventory to their website so those in need of new glasses or sunglasses can search for a prescription match and order a pair for free. For directions on how to donate, click here.
Your Local Optician
Your local independent optician may also work with an organization to accept donations. Contact them for more information.
Charity Shops & Thrift Stores
The next time you drop-off a bag of clothes to donate to a store like Goodwill or Salvation Army, bring your gently used glasses as well. These stores accept both prescription and non-prescription eyewear.
Another Way To Give Back
Some charities focus on giving brand new eyewear, customized to each individual's needs, so even if you don’t have glasses to donate, you can still help their mission of healthy vision for all by donating money to their cause. Here is a great list of charities dedicated to improving sight.