According to eHow, there are an estimated 1 billion people that need eyeglasses but cannot afford to purchase a pair. In some countries, a person would have to work for 3 months to be able to afford a pair of basic glasses.
People get rid of glasses for all sorts of reasons - fashion, outdated prescriptions and broken frames being high on the list. Instead of tossing your glasses in the trash, why not send them off to be recycled, salvaged for parts and reused? Not only are prescription and reading glasses needed for individuals with sight problems, but sunglasses are donated to people living close to the equator to protect their eyes from sun damage.
Look below for a drop-off location near you. If you can’t find one, some of the charities below have addresses where donations can be sent. It’s important to make sure prescription eyeglasses go to a charity with a reliable recycling center so that lens can be properly restored and prescription strength’s recorded.
OneSight - Probably one of the largest vision charities in the world, OneSight distributes eyeglasses internationally helping approximately 7 million people to date. Drop off locations are divided by region. Click on your region to find a drop-off location near you. If you’d like to see where they’ve given in 2009, click here.
Lions Club International - The Lions Club International has 6 International recycling facilities (Canada, Australia, Italy, France, Spain and South Africa) and 11 Domestic recycling facilities that accept eyeglasses by mail. Click here for the one nearest you. Eyeglasses can also be mailed to their headquarters at:
Lions Clubs International Headquarters
Attention: Receiving Department
300 W. 22nd Street
Oak Brook, IL 60523, USA
A drop-off location might be available near you. Check with your local Lion’s Club to find out if there is one in your neighborhood.
LensCrafters - Each LensCrafters retail location has a drop-box where old eyeglasses and sunglasses can be dropped off. Through their partnership with OneSight, LensCrafters provides free eyeglasses and eye exams to people both domestically and abroad. Domestic recipients are recommended through local agencies, school, and Lions Club branches. Click here for a LensCrafters near you.
New Eyes for the Needy - New Eyes for the Needy also works in developing countries and domestically. Eyeglasses and sunglasses can be droped off or mailed to their office at:
New Eyes for the Needy
549 Millburn Avenue
PO Box 332
Short Hills, NJ 07078
Make sure to click here for instructions on how to ship packages.