MAKE A DIFFERENCE: WHEN THE WORLD SEES
I didn’t know I couldn’t see well until I went to the DMV to get a driver’s permit. I was fifteen and a half and I had cruised through the paperwork, and the graded exam, but it wasn’t until I got to reading the letters on the snellen chart that hung a few feet away from me, that I struggled. The letters weren’t very clear and looked like blurry symbols on a white banner. I took my time, squinting hard to try to make each letter. The clerk let me pass by stamping “conditional” on my permit and bluntly stated “You need to get your eyes checked”.
I went to see an optometrist who confirmed I did need glasses and noted that I also had a slight astigmatism. I opted for both glasses and contacts and since that moment my life has never been the same. My world all of a sudden became clearer and brighter. I felt like I had missed out on everything before. And doing everyday things, from reading the whiteboard at school to playing sports had become easier. Every year I went in for an exam to update my prescription as needed and then get a new pair of glasses. Over the years I have collected a handful of glasses that I no longer use, but every pair has provided an easier way of life over the years.
1.1 Billion people around the world suffer from vision loss and access to vision care. And their vision can easily be corrected with a pair of eyeglasses. Imagine being extremely limited in your day to day life because you could not get/afford a pair of eyeglasses? This is the reality in many communities and countries around the world. But yet there are plenty of unused eyeglasses in good condition that can given to those that need them. Today, I am encouraging you donate your eyeglasses so that you can give someone else the gift of sight and in turn improve the quality of their life!
There is a good chance you’ve heard of the Lion’s Club before. The Lions Club is an international service organization with tens of thousands of chapters around the world. They have many service projects to help better the community including vision clinics and an eyeglasses recycling program. They accept donations of used eyeglasses that will be sorted, cleaned, and then given to someone in a low-income community. You can search for a local drop-off site here or you can mail them in to the address listed on the website.
Your local optometrist might already have a donation bin in their office, including retail places like lens crafters. Give your optometrist a call to see if they accept donations, if not you might just inspire them to start doing so!
New eyes is a non-profit that donates used eye glasses (that are still in good condition) to people in developing nations around the world. They sort and clean the glasses before they give them to medical missions or international charities. It’s easy to mail in your pair(s) of eyeglasses, you can ship them to:
549 Millburn Avenue
P.O. Box 332
Short Hills, NJ 07078
Your old prescription glasses might be buried deep within a drawer, but that doesn’t mean they should stay there forever. Your glasses can continue to provide sight by being give to someone else across the world who does not have the access or money to buy eyeglasses. Make a difference and change a life!