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2 min read



Our eyeglasses have a relatively brief lifespan. Whether our prescription changes, our frames break, or we just want to update our look, we replace our glasses all the time. But before you toss those old frames in the trash, discover how to donate or repurpose your old eyeglasses with this helpful guide.


First, gather your old eyeglasses, including non-prescription pairs, sunglasses, and reading glasses. Inspect each pair for damages or missing parts. Damaged glasses made from plastic, steel, aluminum, and gold can be recycled for repurposing, while you can donate undamaged pairs. Next, take the time to clean your eyeglasses thoroughly so they're ready to take on a new life.


Now that your glasses are ready for donation, you can drop them off at several local eyeglass retailers. Most optical stores and eye care professionals collect old eyeglasses to donate to charities. Donations can usually be made in-store or at the optometrist.

Regardless of where you purchased your glasses, you may donate old pairs at these retailers:

  • Rochester Eye and Laser Center 
    We collect donated glasses and give them to the Lyons Club. They use them for many different Optical missions all around the world. It’s a great program that we are happy to help donate.
  • Walmart Vision
  • LensCrafters
  • America’s Best
  • Costco
  • Goodwill

Charities: Donating your used eyeglasses to charity enables others to experience the world clearly and confidently. Your contribution allows underserved communities access to vision care and enhanced educational and occupational opportunities.

This simple donation empowers people to pursue employment, ultimately elevating their quality of life. Donating your old glasses also fosters a culture of environmental responsibility. Your donation reduces waste in landfills.

Consider donating to these charitable organizations:

  • Lions Clubs International: The “Recycle for Sight” program collects eyeglasses through your local Lions Club chapter. Other donation locations include libraries, schools, community centers, houses of worship, coffee shops, optometrist offices, and more. 
  • OneSight: For over 30 years, OneSight has committed to ending the vision care crisis globally by constructing vision centers across 46 countries. They work closely with the Lions Club for charitable eyeglass donations.
  • Respectacle: This mail-in service accepts gently-used glasses. The service then matches people according to their prescriptions to distribute the donations.


Feeling crafty? Here are a few ideas to give new life to your old glasses:

Art projects: You can use lenses for artistic endeavors such as creating kaleidoscopes or unique sculptures. Additionally, use lenses to create abstract patterns, images, and unique shapes or create one-of-a-kind filters to produce visuals in photos and videos.

Fashion accessories: Transform your worn-out frames into stylish fashion accessories. Refashion disassembled eyeglasses into striking broaches, bracelets, earrings, and necklaces.

Magnifiers: Reuse old glasses for specialized tasks by replacing expired prescription lenses with magnifying lenses. These helpful specs are handy for crafting or reading the fine print.

By repurposing or donating your old eyeglasses, you'll declutter your space and make a positive impact on your community and the environment. Whether you transform your old eyeglasses into handy items or donate them to those in need, you'll reduce waste.

Remember, the next time you get new glasses, donating and repurposing your old eyeglasses contributes to a more compassionate, sustainable world.


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