Navigation bar Fundraising Links About LERC HIgh School Programs Contact NWLERC Satellite Operations News & Updates Mission around the world

Click for information on: Guide to preparing glasses Drop-off locations (pdf)

Donating Unused Eyeglasses:
A cost-free contribution with enormous emotional and economic benefits

Thank you for your interest in donating eyeglasses.

Perhaps as many as millions of people in developing countries are in dire need of glasses because they are either or both too far from eye care professionals and/or because the costs are more than they could ever hope to accumulate. Great distances have proven to be an obstacle the needy are willing to overcome when there is young and old recipientsthe promise of regaining vision. In remote areas of the world villagers have traveled days on foot to reach locations where missions have been temporarily set up. The costs however would be more than most recipients make in a year. It is money they and their families desperately need to survive.

In cases where eyesight is very poor a pair of glasses can mean recipients are suddenly employable, or family members will be able to see what their loved ones and their surroundings truly look like for the first time in their lives. Suddenly having clear vision, when there was once no hope, is an experience of such magnitude that its joys cannot be fully expressed except through the looks on patients' faces when first looking at their new world.

Where to find old eyeglasses:

Your old eyeglasses may be lurking in places you've long forgotten existed, but drawers and shoeboxes are two obvious locations. Beyond that try the garage, your cars' glove compartments and even in your handbags and tool boxes. They're everywhere! But, as long as you have decided to help out our mission, would you consider talking to your friends and neighbors? Just the neighbors to your right, left and across the street could amass a dozen or more unwanted glasses. Remember, we will accept sunglasses and reading glasses as well, and they take on added importance because those are the only types of glasses we can (and do) legally distribute to those in need in the United of doctor giving eye exam

LERC volunteers provide for NW homeless

LERC joins with other social service assistance providers at special events such as the Project Homeless Connect. We have participated in many of these events, distributing sunglasses and reading glasses to area homeless. While sunglasses and inexpensive reading glasses may seem unimportant to most of us, there is a considerable population for whom they are an important item for their meager inventory of personal goods.

As was demonstrated at the 2008 Homeless Convention, there was no shortage of clients lined up to receive examinations for eye problems and tests for vision correction.

What Works, What Won't
Simple guidelines for selecting eyeglasses to donate

  1. Please pre-sort the glasses according to the Presort instructions below.
  2. Please count the number of glasses you are delivering. If you have a large number of glasses, simply weight the glasses.  There are approximately 14 pairs per pound.
  3. Print and fill out the Eyeglass Donation/Delivery Form (click here for either the .pdf or .doc formats) and include a copy with each delivery. Or fill out the Online Eyeglass Donation/Delivery Form before making your donation.
  4. If you plan to deliver glasses during a time the center is closed, you can call NWLERC at (360) 923-2075 to set up a special delivery time.
  5. If you choose to mail or ship your glasses, please read our special Shipping Instructions. Please note if you're shipping a small quantity of glasses, you do not have to notify NWLERC in advance or fill out the donation form.
Presorting Guidelines

These Work:

We can use three categories of glasses: 
• Single vision
(like reading glasses)
• Multi-vision
(bifocals and trifocals.)
• Plain sunglasses (not prescription*)

*Prescription sunglasses will be recycled by us. Please send them, along with all other frames, damaged glasses etc, to us for environmentally friendly recycling rather than throw them in landfills.

These Won't

  • Contact lenses
  • Loose lenses
  • Hard cases (shipping problems)
Shipping Procedure
  1. Pack eyeglasses in a sturdy corrugated cardboard box.
  2. Seal box with strapping tape.
  3. Be sure label is legible and include your Eyeglass Delivery/Donation Form inside each box if you did not submit on-line.
  4. Used eyeglasses are of no commercial value so choose the least expensive means of shipping to NWLERC (usually 3rd or 4th Class Mail). Label the box, "No Commercial Value".
  5. Please notify NWLERC at (360) 923-2075 before shipping more than 1,000 glasses.
Thank you for supporting LERC's cause, and for your patience and donation