Eyeglasses, Reuse / Recycling
The old lenses that steer you into walls may be the perfect gift for someone in need. Chances are an optician or club in your area collects eyeglasses for reuse. Collected eyeglasses are cleaned, repaired and measured to determine the correction. Available glasses are cataloged in a computer database, and matched to people with need. Many of the glasses are sent to other countries, as laws in the USA make it difficult to re-dispense a prescription product. Another option is to have your old glasses tinted to turn them into into sunglasses.
The Lions Clubs operate the largest program, collecting glasses from thousands of opticians. Of the chain stores, LensCrafters, For-Eyes and Pearle collect glasses chain-wide. Several organizations accept eyewear by mail (use a search engine to find them). One example is:
New Eyes for the Needy 549 Millburn, PO Box 332, Short Hills, NY 07078. Accepts scrap metal frames in any condition, unbroken plastic framed glasses, non-prescription sunglasses, any precious metal scrap like broken jewelry and monetary donations. In Canada send glasses to The Low Vision Clinic, 1929 Bayview Ave., Toronto, ON M4G 3E8.