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Recycle Your Specs
Old and unused glasses sitting at home collecting dust can help deliver the gift of sight to thousands of visually impaired adults and children around the world.
People who wear prescription eyeglasses usually have many pairs of old and unused glasses that they will never wear again stuffed into a drawer or box in their home where they take up space and sit unused until they are eventually thrown away in the trash bin. The collections of old glasses usually pile up because people’s eyes change over time and they need new and stronger prescriptions as they age, or some might just be damaged glasses with broken frames and scratched lenses. Whatever the reasons, old and unused glasses sitting at home don’t provide any benefits to anyone.
Those old glasses can now be put to much better use than just sitting in a box collecting dust as individuals and organizations across the United States and much of Europe have recently been setting up new efforts to recycle old eyeglasses and help them deliver the gift of sight to thousands of visually impaired adults and children in developing countries around the world. Community groups like Rotary Clubs and Lions Clubs here in the U.S., and government offices like community centers and fire stations in the States and in Europe are now taking steps to improve eye health worldwide by recycling unwanted glasses that will be sent out to assist the needy and poor people with impaired vision, or to help those in developing nations where they do not have any local medical eyesight facilities or in those areas where eye care is now expensive and inaccessible.
The various community-based groups involved in the eyeglass recycling efforts have been collecting used prescription eyeglasses as well as conducting special sight-related projects to inform their communities about the importance of eye health and eye diseases that can impair sight. The glasses are collected in highly visible collection boxes in most locations and then sent to repair facilities where they are cleaned and prepared for redistribution. Although some collection efforts are focused mainly on used eyeglasses that only have single strength prescriptions, most collection centers will now accept all prescription glasses including those with multi-focal, vari-focal, or bi-focal lenses too. For vision-impaired adults, the recycled glasses could mean the difference between successfully supporting their family, instead of being unable to meet their basic needs. For the children, corrected vision can help them perform better in school and avoid developmental delays and learning disabilities. Either result is certainly better than old glasses collecting dust, and helping other people see the world more clearly is a good cause any way you look at it.
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