It was the last week of the year, the week within which I had to use my vision and dental insurance for my annual checkups. It was the either use it or lose it scenario. Although my dental health didn’t require anything apart from a deep cleaning, my eye sight definitely changed.
It’s strange that every year for the past 4 years I have experienced a change in my eyesight. The doctor explained to me that these are normal changes that occur to most of us between ages 18 to 40. This is as normal as growing one gray hair at a time on a weekly basis for me.
While ordering the glasses, as usual, LensCrafters tried to increase my out of pocket costs by including the items listed below. I was prepared to counter each one of them, and I did so successfully.
I was first tricked in to accepting the insurance coverage, but after seeing the actual charge on the receipt, I had it removed, much to the annoyance of the sales girl. I did feel bad that I took away a part of her commission. I chose to change the lenses only, keeping the old frames intact, saving me on the frame cost.
With a $25 out of pocket charge, I had my pair of glasses. From a store like LensCrafters,this is a big deal as the store is reputed for persuading its customers to purchase unnecessary add-ons. I am not saying you should also opt out of these add-ons, first consult your optician before choosing what’s best for you.
The main purpose of this article though, is to appeal for a donation. Donating your old eye glasses to people in need, the people who are less fortunate than we are.
I was born and brought up in India. I have seen thousands of poor people who can’t read due to their poor eye sight. Often an eye problem to the only bread winner of the family means losing the family income and forcing the entire family to live below the poverty line.
Eye glasses aren’t something that you sell at yard sales or easily sell on eBay. If you can afford to not sell them, my sincere request to you ..please donate your old glasses to charities. Give the gift of sight.
I had three pair of old glasses just lying around the house, so I donated all of them to the Lions club. I feel proud of my decision, I asked SMB to also follow the same path when her new glasses are due. There are more than a billion people with eye sight problems in this world who either don’t have access to eye care or can’t afford eye glasses.
Even if your eye sight hasn’t changed in the past, you can still receive a new pair of eye glasses every year. Most vision insurances cover frames and lenses up to a maximum limit per year. If you stay within the limit on both, you can afford to have new frames and lenses without paying anything out of your pocket (just keep in mind the tips above). By doing so you are creating a way to help a needy individual somewhere in the world
There are various organization/groups that are actively engaged in spreading the word, collecting glasses, and sending the collected/donated glasses overseas. A few of them are listed below, based on my research on line.
VSP eyes of hope (email them first), Lions club international recycle program (you can drop your glasses to any of their drop boxes near you), Lenscrafter one sight program (yeah, they do it too), Unite for Sight eye glass donation, and Hakim opticals.
You can also help the cause by organizing a drive to collect old glasses at your work/club/schools. Help spread the word and do the tiniest thing possible to help a cause which can help people better themselves. Without proper eye sight we can’t do even the simplest of tasks.
I ask my readers to suggest an organization or a place, where they accept prescription eye glasses as donation. I will then include them to my list above. Do remember that your donation can feed a family for life.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or optician, I don’t encourage you to not opt for add-ons your doctor advised.
Good reminder SB. An old frame doesn’t cost us a thing, but could mean a lot for some others.
Opticians should have a donate boxes for old eyeglasses like tip jars!
Definitely the cheapest charity to give biggest benefits, thanks MC!
Miss T @ Prairie Eco-Thrifter says
I love this idea. Great thinking SB. I don’t have glasses but my hubby does. When I get home I will find a couple of his old pairs and drop them off tomorrow. Thanks for the reminder. I have done this kind of thing with shoes before but I didn’t think of glasses.
Unlike shoes, glasses have longer life and the difference is the family getting their meals or not. Good to know you want to work promptly on this.
Newlyweds on a Budget says
This one eye doctor I went to implored me that because I work in public relations, I need to look good at all times and so I NEED anti-glare. Even though I told him over and over that I wear my glasses to work probably about 5 times in teh past 5 years bc i always wear contacts. Yeah, I stopped going to that jerk.
BUT thank you thank you thank YOU for sharing this. I plan on getting eye surgery soon and didn’t even think about what I would be doing with my old glasses! Now I know!
Good to know about your resolution, locate a drop location near your area and you are all set.
Hack - Smart Money Hacks says
What a good reminder. I have a few pairs at home that I should donate. They aren’t doing me any good sitting in a drawer!
You can spread the words to your friends..some people somewhere would pray for your well being.
Julie @ The Family CEO says
Wonderful post! We just ordered new glasses for my son yesterday. I was vaguely aware that you could donate your old glasses, but I appreciate having a list of organizations that accept them like this. Thanks!
Feel free to suggest if you know of any other organization that collects for charity (not for business though) I’ll add them here.
I hate insurance but for a daily glasses wearer like myself it has been useful for me in the past.
As for donating old glasses, mine are usually broken when I get new ones but i bet they are still worth donating. It’s something i have never considered before.
I know some of them do fix the broken ones before distribution, don’t hesitate to giveaway.
Hunter - Financially Consumed says
Kudos for promoting this great idea SB. I wear glasses, but I generally keep mine until they disintegrate into a pile of rust…I should update them more often.
Are you following the cricket, 2nd test match in Sydney, Australia v. India? Haha!
No comments on the score. You know the reasons 🙂
Invest It Wisely says
I was just wondering about this! We have some old pairs and I figured it would be a shame to just throw them away. Thanks for sharing this post.
Glad to be of help Kevin
Great list of places to donate too. I don’t get new glasses very often (and I also don’t have insurance for that) but when I do I always end up hanging onto my old pair til I finally find someplace to donate them. Good to know there are more possibilities than I’d realized.
Probably you are the first one I know who already stated with donation. Great work!
Aaron Hung says
It’s a great feeling to give back to the less fortunate, even though you yourself don’t have much. I don’t wear glasses but I love donating clothes though 😀
Clothes , caps, shoes anything you have Aaron. Just locate a local Goodwill center.
It is an excellent cause. However, I tend to hold on to my old forever in case mynew ones break.
Even if your power changes?
Our optometrist has a bin for glasses donation and that’s where we usually drop off our old ones. I usually get the anti glare, but I will do a bit more research this time. Thanks for the informative post.
That’s very easy for you. Don’t have to do anything for donation.
I would be curious what your arguments against all of the lens extras are. I myself have such bad vision that not getting high index lenses would make me look ridiculous.
I’ve learned the hard way that I need to keep an old pair of glasses around in case my current pair breaks, but all others are donated!
Laura, I can only talk about my personal choice. I had glasses with all these extra features and I also have glasses without these features. Believe me I don’t find any difference. Neither in terms of vision nor in terms of look of the glasses. So, why should I pay extra?
Hi, I want to donate my glasses. I need the mailing address to send those glasses. I am living in Bangalore, India. Please send me the nearest mailing address.
Can you contact Shankar Nethralaya by calling up +91 99458 84967. They might accept old and working glasses. I searched the web but could not find anything mentioned specifically for Bangalore.
Bharathi Tejas says
If u could provide me the details where they accept the spectacle lenses (various power) in bangalore
Sorry no idea about Bangalore locations
ONGOM RUFINO says
This donation of specs is good for poor people affected by 20 years of northern Uganda wars and continuous HIV/AIDS infection.I want to know if you could assist my CBO which is making communities eye care outreaches. Each time i go out i meet many poor people same are getting blind from cataract ,glaucoma ,presbyopia and trichiasis etc. Since i do not have money for outreaches and spectacles i am appealing for your support. I Was educated by Lions aids Norway on eye care and given instruments for this work but now retired from government work as an eye care district officer but still capable of making outreaches using a motorcycle which was given to me by PACG OMEGA in 2007.
Thanks God bless you for your good work,
Mr. Ongom Rufino