"The test of a civilization is in the way it cares for its helpless members." -- Pearl S. Buck
You might wonder if your old prescription eyeglasses would serve a better purpose than lining one of your dresser drawers. The good news is they can. The Lions Club will recycle your old glasses and give them to someone in need who can put them to good use, a much better alternative than taking up space in a drawer. The Lions Club of New Mexico collects used prescription eyeglasses, cleans them, and distributes them to the needy in New Mexico and elsewhere.
Lions Club International is the world's largest service organization, with clubs that help local communities. A leading mission is to distribute used prescription eyeglasses to those with limited resources. In 1925, Hellen Keller challenged the Lions to become "knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness." To this day, sight programs remain an integral part of the club's causes. Their Operation KidSight program screens 3 to 5 year olds for vision disorders. Children who have their vision treated before the age of 6 stand a much better chance of correction. Look for Lions Club prescription eyeglass donation boxes at your local Albuquerque Public Library branch.
There are other places to take your prescription lenses so they can make a difference to a poor person who can't afford to purchase their own. Prescription lenses may seem expensive to us, but to someone in a poor country, they can be an unaffordable luxury. You can make a difference in someone's life by finding a drop off location for them in Albuquerque and nearby communities.
Optical centers often act as collection centers for old prescription glasses, where they are cleaned and prepared for distribution. Prescription glasses go to regional and global clinics. Bring your used glasses to the following drop off locations:
- Costco Optical Shop, 9955 Coors NW
- Los Volcanes Senior Center, 6500 Los Volcanes NW
- Lovato Eye Care, 1448 Bridge SW
- Pearle Vision, 5504 Menaul NE
- Precision Optical, 5115 Coors
- The Optical Shop, 3411 Central NE
- Twohig, James, DDS, 7301 Aztec NE
- United Methodist Church, 4701 Montano NW
- Walmart, 8000 Academy Road
- Walmart, 10224 Coors Bypass NW
- Warehouse Optical, 2531 Jefferson NE, #135
- Some of Albuquerque's libraries also have drop boxes where glasses can be taken. Call to find out if your local library has a donation box.
- Walmart, 460 Highway 528
- Corrales Library, 84 West La Entrada
- Village Mercantile, 3923 Corrales Road, Building A
- Accent on Vision, behind Medical Arts building
- Acoma Optical, 1521 5th
- Ancient City Opticians, 1704 Llano
- Aztec Optical, 509 W. Cordova Road
- Berardinelli Funeral Home, 1320 Luis Street
- Bueno Vista Eye Care, 9 Calle Medico
- Dr Mark Rasmussen, 1460 S. St. Francis Drive
- El Castillo Retirement Home, 250 E. Alameda
- Eye Associates Optical, 2947 Rodeo Park
- Eye Care For You, DeVargas North
- First National Bank, Eldorado Branch
- Hold Faith Episcopal Church, 311 E. Palace Avenue
New Eyes for the Needy is a charitable organization that will take your donation of a good used pair of glasses and will send them to an organization that distributes to the needy in developing nations. Their trained volunteers test and sort donated glasses into different categories, after which the glasses are distributed to charitable organizations throughout the world, such as small medical missions. The donated glasses have traveled to over 87 countries around the world. Ship your glasses to their organization; they provide shipping instructions. The organization also helps the needy in the United States by purchasing new prescription eyeglasses for those in financial need. If you don't have a pair of eyeglasses to donate but want to help someone in need, the organization takes monetary donations online.
Eyeglasses are expensive, and there are many people who could use them. By donating them for re-use, you help someone in need, and you recycle as well. It's a win-win for everyone.
If you have questions about donating your used eyeglasses, contact your nearest New Mexico Lions Club online.