Used Eyeglass Program
If you no longer need your used glasses or sunglasses, please consider donating them to the Lions. Minnesota Lions can accept prescription eyeglasses (frames with lenses intact), non-prescription sunglasses, and reading glasses. (No lenses without frames or frames without lenses, please.)
Where Can You Donate Your Old Glasses?
Used eyeglasses may sent to the Vision Foundation or dropped at one of the many collection locations in Minnesota. Please reference the Minnesota Lions Eyeglass Recycling Center for a list of drop sites and information. For news, visit the Minnesota Lions Eyeglass Recycling Center’s Facebook page.
Why Donate Your Old Eyeglasses?
Globally, one child in four cannot see well enough to learn to read without eyeglasses.
By age 40, 90% of adults experience a decrease in their ability to read print and need eyeglasses.
Many emerging countries lack the resources to manufacture quality lenses, and the cost of importing eyeglasses is far beyond the means of the average citizen.
Millions fail to reach their economic, educational, and social potential without access to quality eyeglasses.
The World Health Organization estimates that the eyesight of one-fourth of the world’s population can be improved through the use of corrective lenses.
Unfortunately, for many a pair of glasses is both unaffordable and inaccessible. In developing countries, an eye exam costs as much as one month’s wages, and a single doctor may serve a community of hundreds of thousands of people.
How Are the Lions Helping?
For 80 years, individual Lions clubs and districts have collected old, unwanted eyeglasses for redistribution to the poor in developing countries. Lions and other volunteers donate travel expenses, time, and talent to dispense recycled eyeglasses free of charge to individuals in developing nations. Some people walk 50 miles to receive free eyeglasses from the Lions. It costs fewer than 8 cents to provide glasses to a person in a developing nation.
Minnesota Lions members have now collected more than eight million pairs of eyeglasses. The Wisconsin Lions Foundation operates a regional facility in Rosholt, Wisconsin where Lions volunteers clean, repair, and classify the glasses by prescription. Glasses are then made available for medical mission work.