In effort to help those in need see better, University Facilities and Services holds a recycling program to collect eyeglasses twice per year. And for good reason too. According to the Center for Disease Control, about fourteen million Americans above the age of twelve are visually impaired. Prescription and non-prescription eyeglasses, reading glasses, sunglasses, and frames are accepted in the program. So far, seven collections have been held collecting a grand total of 3,489 pairs of glasses!

The most recent collection was held through the month of August, in conjunction with National Eye Exam Month. In total, 345 pairs were donated. The Flaum Eye Institute held a collection box in their optical shop and was responsible for collecting 185 of these pairs! A special thanks to this group who took home the prize in our March departmental competition when they collected a whopping 512 pairs.

Once the glasses are collected, they are sent to the The Lions Eye Bank at Rochester where they are sent to The Lions Club International to be cleaned, sorted, and packaged. The majority of the donated eyeglasses are distributed to people in need, in developing countries. The Lions Club International is a leading organization in collecting, recycling, and donating glasses in their efforts to improve sight and prevent blindness among those in need. The Lions Recycle for Sight program has collected thousands of pairs of used eyeglasses, sunglasses, new frames and other equipment.

A special thanks to Karen Guarino from The Lions Eye Bank at Rochester and everyone who donated glasses to make this program a continued success! Stay tuned for our next collection in March.


Image Source: Pixabay


  1. For this program, they do not grind the glass. The test the lenses for their prescription strength and match them with people. Pretty neat process!

  2. I’ve often wondered how they match existing prescription glasses to people in need. Do they remove the lenses and regrind them at the distribution site?

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