Look around in the remote corners and drawers around your home and you’re likely to find old eyeglasses that aren’t being used any more. So, the question often comes “What can I do with these old glasses? It seems a shame to throw them away, and perhaps someone else could use them, but where do I send them?”
There are plenty of places to donate your old eyeglasses. For example:
- Ask your eye doctor if they take them. Many doctors are involved in medical missions or support groups that serve on mission teams. They can usually forward your eyeglasses on to a group needing them for mission trips.
- Local service clubs like the Lions, Kiwanis, and Rotary may collect eye wear for mission work as well.
- Many faith-based programs have collection bins for donating eyeglasses.
- Check out your bank and grocery store. In some areas, service groups and faith-based groups have collection bins at the bank or grocery, making donating easy and convenient.
How are the donated eyeglasses used?
When eye wear is donated, the collecting group separates out eyeglasses that they are unable to repair, or for other reasons may not be usable. The eyeglasses prescriptions are then measure on instruments and the eyeglasses are sorted by power, gender, single-vision or bifocal, children or adult. Many of these organizations then supply eye wear to various medical mission teams headed in the U.S. or overseas. In most cases, these groups only provide eyeglasses to organizations that have an optometrist or ophthalmologist on the team to ensure patients receive the correct eye wear.
Relatively new to the market are eyeglasses that can be made on-site on mission trip experiences. The advantage these eyeglasses have is the ability to accurately prescribe just what the patient needs. The drawback is the price, even low, may be too much for mission teams to use on their trips. So, donated eyeglasses are still in great need. In many cases, the donation is tax deductible as well.
So, look around the house….you may very well have the eyeglasses someone else could really use.