An estimated 120 million people are visually impaired because of uncorrected refractive errors. Almost all of these cases can be corrected and normal vision can be restored with spectacles, contact lenses or refractive surgery.
Lions Recycle for Sight Australia began collecting used spectacles in the early 1990’s and has since delivered over 7 million pair of refurbished quality spectacles to men, women and children in need throughout Australia, Africa, Europe, Middle East, Asia, The Far East, China, The Pacific Rim and Oceania. Head quartered in Queensland, the program distributes regraded, or refurbished, spectacles to Lions Clubs, Rotary Clubs and other humanitarian organisations for distribution to people in need, with no expense or obligation for the recipient.
The Journey of Recycled Glasses
1. Lions and Leos collect used spectacles, hearing aids and unopened contact lenses from your practice or other designated collection point.
2. The glasses are shipped to the Queensland Lions Eyeglass Recycling Centre where trained volunteers sort, clean and determine the prescription strengths of the glasses.
3. Volunteers at the recycling centre carefully package the prepared glasses and store them until they are required for eyeglass dispensing missions.
4. Wherever possible, metal frames that are not suitable for reuse are recycled for scrap, with the earnings benefitting local Lions and Leos projects.
5. At the mission site, eye care professionals and trained Lion and Leo volunteers perform vision screenings and dispense the appropriate recycled glasses, free of charge, to children and adults in need.
When our CEO - April Petrusma spoke with Chairman Lion - Ken Leonard, he highlighted a few key points that we think are important to share:
Approximately 75% of the glasses received are able to be re-used.
Single Vision lenses are of the most value to the cause as it is quite difficult to repurpose Multi Focal and Progressive lenses that have been made for an individual, for a specific purpose.
There is no need or use for cases, even if they are new. Due to the cost of shipping such large quantities of spectacles overseas and the unlikelihood of the case being used by the recipient, please come up with other ways to reuse the cases. Unfortunately any cases received at the recycling centre, will be discarded.
A little-known fact is that you can also send in unopened contact lenses. Even if the box is open, as long as the contact lenses themselves remain unopened, unused and within their used by date, they will be put to good use. Think of all the trial lenses and half empty boxes you could save.
Non-prescription kids sunglasses are better donated to your local charity shop or local community initiative as there is little need for them to be used in Lions humanitarian projects.
If you are looking to donate used spectacles, hearing aids and unopened contact lenses, you can contact your local Lions Club and they will come and collect from your practice or other designated collection point. If you are in a region where collection is not possible (if unsure, contact your local Lions Club), you can pop them in a padded bag (without the cases) and post them at no cost to:
Reply Paid 3021 Lions Recycle for Sight PO Box 3021 CLONTARF MDC 4019