Record Number of Eyeglasses Collected in March Competition

Picture above: Karen Guarino of the Lions Eye Bank at Rochester receives 1,221 pairs of glasses from The University


In conjunction with National Eye Donor Month, University Facilities and Services partnered with Lions Eye Bank at Rochester to hold an eyeglasses collection during the month of March. A grand total of 1,221 pairs were collected – a record breaking number! Through the departmental competition 875 pairs were collected while an additional 346 pairs were recycled via the mail-in program. Prior to the March collection, the most eyeglasses collected was 581 pairs in August 2015. Since the first collection was held in August 2014, a grand total of 3,144 pairs have been rounded up to help those in need.

Unwanted prescription and nonprescription glasses, sunglasses, and frames are sent to the Lions Club International. Once the eyeglasses are collected, Lions Club volunteers clean, sort, and package glasses. Recycled glasses are distributed to people in need in low and middle income communities where they will have the greatest impact.

University departments joined the competition to strive collect the greatest number of eyeglasses and to create the most “eye-catching” collection box. The Flaum Eye Institute collected a whopping 512 pairs, coming in first place in the competition. The Office of Advancement came in second place, collecting 107 pairs. The Department of Pharmacy collected 95 pairs, placing third. Congratulations to The Office of Advancement who was also voted as creating most “eye-catching” collection box (full display pictured below). Judging for the most “eye-catching” (or visually appealing) box was coordinated by the Lions Eye Bank at Rochester and included 3 cornea recipients, 3 donor family members, 5 Lions Clubs from the area, and 1 community volunteer.

Sustainability Coordinator Amy Kadrie would like to thank Karen Guarino of the Lions Eye Bank at Rochester for her continued partnership on this program. Kadrie explains, “It was Karen’s idea to add a competition component to our collections. The enthusiasm and creativity brought forth by the departments has greatly exceeded my expectations! The departments and all individuals who participate should be extremely proud of their efforts.” Collections are held twice per year in March and August. The departmental competition occurs during the March collections in conjunction with RecycleMania– a friendly competition held in the spring each year to promote waste reduction activities to their campus communities. Read more about how the University did in RecycleMania this year.

Recycling eyeglasses is not only a great way to help someone in need, but also a sustainable way to repurpose old, unwanted glasses. University Facilities and Services would like to thank all of the following departments that participated in the eyeglass collection: David H. Smith Center for Vaccine Biology and Immunology, Center for Perioperative Medicine, University of Rochester Medical Center Cardiology, Department of History, Flaum Eye Institute, Penfield Family Medicine, Office of Advancement, Department of Public Safety, Department of Pharmacy, Office for Human Subject Protection, and Department of Speech Pathology. Visit the UR Sustainable Facebook Page for more pictures from the March collection for eyeglasses.


Written by Alyssa Lemire, Class of 2017

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