If you wear prescription glasses, you probably have a few old pairs sitting around your house. Most times, these glasses are in great condition. One way to put them to good use is by donating them to a charity focused on helping people in need have access to prescription eyewear.
According to the World Health Organization, more than a billion people around the world can’t see well because they lack access to prescription glasses. Since 2012, Zenni has helped to combat this growing problem by donating more than 580,000 pairs of eyeglasses internationally to those in more than 21 countries, and an additional 250,000 pairs domestically to underserved communities in 47 states.
Old Vs. New
Since old prescription eyeglasses were specifically made for your specific needs, sometimes it’s difficult for charities to find an exact match. That shouldn’t deter you from donating old prescription glasses. Even if it’s not a perfect match, your glasses will still go to good use. There have been cases where people who were nearly blind have been able to see much better with the use of donated glasses.
Eyewear Donation Charities
If you have several pairs of old glasses, our friends at Peninsula Special Interest Lions Club will lovingly donate your used glasses at their national and international vision clinics. All you need to do is place used glasses in a glasses case or secure cardboard box and send to:
Peninsula Special Interest Lions Club – Glasses
151 Flying Cloud Isle
Foster City, CA 94404
Below are other popular charitable organizations that help match people in need with donated eyewear:
- Lions Clubs International – they have drop boxes to collect old eyeglasses in many schools, community centers, optometrist practices, cafes etc. Lions Club Eyeglass Recycling Centers are also Alaska, Arizona, California, Indiana, New Jersey, Minnesota, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.
- One Sight – they distribute donated and recycled glasses to people in low income countries such as Guyana. One Sight has donation centers located in Asia, Australia, Europe, New Zealand and North America.
- New Eyes for the Needy – they partner with charitable health organizations to provide eyewear for needy people worldwide. New Eyes for the Needy also accepts monetary donations used to purchase eyeglasses for exact prescriptions for people living in poverty.
- Vision Aid Overseas – their vision centers provide eye care in impoverished areas in Ghana, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Zambia. Vision Aid Overseas accepts monetary donations to provide prescription eyeglasses for the people in need, as well as donations of old glasses.
Other Ways To Give Back
Donating money or gift cards to purchase new eyewear is also a great way to give back. Your monetary donation can help someone who needs vision correction get a pair of frames custom made for their prescription. We always recommend contacting charities that you’re interested in donating money or eyewear gift cards to first and asking details about their specific needs. If a certain organization isn’t located in your country or region, then consider contacting the location closest to you to find out donation details.
In addition to donating eyeglasses internationally, regionally or statewide, you can also help on a local level. For example, team up with a neighborhood group to create a fundraising drive to purchase new glasses for children, adults and seniors in your community. Even donating just one pair of your old eyeglasses can change the life of one person.