The World Health Organization estimates that 25% of the world population could have their eyesight improved through corrective lenses. I’ve also read that many children who do poorly in school do so because of poor, uncorrected vision. So whether you’ve switched prescriptions, frames, or undergone laser eye surgery, fork those things over!
I totally recommend donating your eyeglasses to New Eyes for the Needy, a volunteer group in New Jersey. I have sent mine there many times and have found them to be sweet and helpful.
Lions Club chapters also collect eyeglasses for distribution. Check their international Web site for one near you. LensCrafters, Target Optical, and Sears Optical have donation receptacles to collect for OneSight, which recycles glasses and uses the money to defray cost for new pairs. They’ve crunched the numbers, and it’s apparently cheaper to simply manufacture new ones, given the cost of transporting the old ones, the differences in prescriptions, and the fact that less than 10% of donations were usable. Not sure if that’s common practice at this point.
Another option is Unite for Sight, which has numerous chapters throughout the U.S. They need your new eyeglasses and sunglasses. Nothing used!