Lions Clubs Recycle Used Eyeglasses
Please donate your unused eyewear so that others can see.
The Need for Glasses – 153 Million Reasons Lions Recycle for Sight
According to The World Health Organization, 153 million people have uncorrected refractive errors (near-sightedness, far-sightedness or astigmatism). Most of these vision impairments are quickly diagnosed and easy to treat with corrective lenses.
Still, millions of people in developing nations are pushed deeper into poverty simply because they don't have corrective eyeglasses. They can't learn, because reading is difficult. They can't work to the best of their ability, because they can't see clearly.
For children, clear vision means a better education, healthier development and a better quality of life. For adults, it means greater employment opportunity and economic strength. For seniors it means less dependence on others.
In 1925, Helen Keller challenged LIONS to become "knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness." And we accepted. Today, sight programs remain one of our defining causes.
Lions clubs around the world collect millions of eyeglasses each year to address the need for glasses, making eyeglass recycling one of our most popular and rewarding activities.
Lions clubs send collected eyeglasses to one of our 18 official Lions Eyeglass Recycling Centres in the world. The Canadian Lions Eyeglass Recycling Centre (CLERC) is in Calgary, Alberta.
- At each of these Centres Lions volunteer their time and services to prepare eyeglasses for distribution, cleaning and classifying each pair by prescription.
- Optical missions sponsored by Lions clubs and other groups distribute the donated eyeglasses to needy people throughout the world, in accordance with local laws.
Once the CLERC has prepared the glasses they are given to qualified missions delivering glasses to the needy around the world. In 2013 the the distribution of glasses from the CLERC reached these areas: Africa 38%, Central America 22%, South Asia 19%, Aouth America 13%, Europe 8%, and Middle East 1%.
The Lions Clubs of District A-711 (the Greater Toronto-Hamilton Area) collect and ship over 150,000 pairs of glasses annually to our Recycling Centres in Canada. These glasses will find themselves used on Missions throughout the Americas and elsewhere around the world as noted above.
Types of Eyeglasses we collect
We collect new and used reading, single vision, bifocal, children, safety, swim gogles with prescription lenses and both prescription and non-prescription Sunglasses (clip-ons and glasses). Glasses may consist of glasses in frames, frames only, or uncut lenses.
We also now collect broken glasses and loose lenses. We have partners to our recycling centres who will recover metals and other components from broken glasses. Your loose lenses are sold to a contractor where they are shredded, mixed with reflective paint and used for highway lines (in the USA).
Where can I drop off used Eyeglasses?
Click: http://www.recycleforsight.ca to find your closest collection point on a map anywhere in Canada.
Lions Clubs in Canada and other interested parties willing to assist with the Lions Recycle for Sight Program. Please review Our Canadian Recycle for Sight Project Guide by clicking here.
We send the majority of the glasses we collect to The Canadian Lions Eyeglass Recycling Centre in Calgary. Wealso have clubs that share their collected eye wear with Medical Ministries International in Hamilton, Ontario https://www.mmi.org/ .
Watch this video to see what happens to them when they arrive, and how they are put to use: