Many patients no longer need their eyeglasses after having the LASIK procedure. If you fall into this category, consider donating your old glasses. Several charitable organizations around the country accept donations of all types of eyeglasses and sunglasses, and then give them to someone in need. You’ll give the gift of sight to someone who may not be able to afford a new pair of glasses, and you’ll know your initial investment for the eyewear won’t go to waste.
Here are some organizations that will accept your donation of eyeglasses or sunglasses:
New Eyes for the Needy
Since its founding in 1932, this organization has provided millions of glasses to people around the globe. It recycled 140,000 pairs of glasses in 30 developing countries in 2012 alone. Recycled glasses are sent to missions and international charitable organizations in developing nations throughout the Americas, Africa, the Far East, Europe and the Middle East. View the shipping instructions on the organization’s site to find out how to donate your old glasses.
Lions Club International
Lions Club International oversees the Lions Recycle for Sight Program that distributes used glasses to those in need in developing countries. You can drop off your donation at Pearle Vision and LensCrafters retail stores, as well as Goodwill stores. The program accepts reading glasses, prescription lenses, sunglasses, and both plastic and metal frames.
This is another organization that has set up drop-off boxes at retail stores, including LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, Sears Optical and Target Optical. Check with your eye care provider to find out if it participates in the OneSight program or use the location finder tool to search for participating location. OneSight accepts gently used prescription glasses and sunglasses, and trained volunteers take each pair through a quality control process before they are distributed to patients in need.
MADRE is a women’s rights organization that provides support for women’s groups around the globe. The MADRE Helping Hands program distributes donated eyeglasses and sunglasses to families in need at the Wangki Tangni Women’s Center in Nicaragua.
Community Churches and Local Organizations
You may also be able to donate your glasses or sunglasses to a community, church or other local charitable organization. Talk to community leaders and organizations in your area to find relevant groups and help those in your own town or city.
Donating your glasses is as simple as mailing the eyewear to a charitable organization or dropping off the frames at a local retail store that participates in a donation program. If you are like many patients and are free from glasses after LASIK, pay it forward by helping someone in need.