Frequently Asked Questions

New Jersey Lions Eyeglass Recycling Center

How can individuals participate?

To donate glasses, drop them off at a local Lions club or a Lions club collection box in your community. Check the Lions Clubs International Web site at for more information. In the United States you can also call 1-800-74 SIGHT for the nearest Lions Eyeglass Recycling Center. Glasses can also be mailed directly to: New Jersey Lions Eyeglass Recycling Center, PO Box 7263, West Trenton, NJ 08628.

What types of glasses are collected?

All types of used eyeglasses and sunglasses, prescription and non-prescription, for children and adults are accepted, including exceptionally strong or weak prescriptions. Reading glasses are also useful for those who perform close-up tasks while at work. Sunglasses are needed for people living near the equator, especially those with cataracts.

What happens to the donated glasses?

Glasses are shipped to a Lions Clubs International Eyeglass Recycling Center where they are cleaned, categorized by prescription and prepared for distribution during organized optical missions to developing countries.

How do the glasses reach those who need them?

Lions and other groups organize teams of eye care professionals and volunteers who travel to developing countries all over the world to conduct vision screenings and dispense the glasses free-of-charge to children and adults with impaired vision.

Why are the glasses distributed to developing nations?

Because of legal constraints against dispensing used prescriptive devices in many areas of the United States, most recycled glasses are distributed in developing countries. Individuals and families are frequently pushed into a cycle of deepening poverty because of their inability to see well. At least 13 million children (age 5 to 15) and 45 million working-age adults (age 16 to 49) are affected globally.

Why is it so difficult to obtain glasses in developing nations?

Children and adults living in underprivileged areas do not have access to adequate eye care facilities and trained eye care personnel. In many developing nations, an eye exam costs as much as one month’s wages.