Donate Old Glasses & Unused Contact Lenses

When I was growing up, donating our old glasses was as much a part of my life as eating popsicles in the summer.  I thought everyone did this until I mentioned it to Martin and he looked at me like I was speaking Greek.  So for those of you who might not know …

Donate your old glasses and unused contact lenses instead of tossing them or keeping them in the closet until kingdom come!


New Eyes for the Needy started collecting glasses way back in 1932 when a Red Cross nurse noticed that people coming for help couldn’t read all the forms.  They didn’t have money to buy glasses.  Since then, the organization has helped seven million people in 56 countries.  Isn’t that incredible?

Sadly, it’s still a problem today, so good thing those of us access to 20/20 can help.

1. Give your old glasses and unused contact lenses to:

  • your local Lions Club in the US & Canada
  • LensCrafters Stores
  • GoodWill Industries
  • ask your doctor’s office for local suggestions
  • or mail them in a padded envelope or small box (shipping is tax deductible) to:

New Eyes for the Needy
549 Millburn Avenue
PO Box 332
Short Hills, NJ 07078

1/1/2010 Update:  Please contact New Eyes for the Needy to see if they are currently accepting glasses and contact lenses before sending your donation, as I have been notified by a donor that his offer could not be used at the time.

1/1/2010 Update:  Lions Club does NOT collect contact lenses at this time.  They happily accept prescription and non-prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses and hearing aids – either used or new.

5/9/2012 Update: LensCrafters Stores told a reader that they are not accepting contact lenses at this time.

9/8/2015 Update: There’s a new option for donating contact lenses listed in the comments: The Ohio State University College of Optometry.

2. Make a $60 donation to buy an American a pair of glasses.

Don’t have to deal with glasses?  Well first, lucky you!  Second, here’s your chance to buy your first set of glasses.  More information here.

3. Donate other stuff to raise money for glasses

New Eyes for the Needy accepts:

  • hearing aids
  • dentures with gold inlays
  • watches, silver and gold jewelry, and costume jewelry

So how easy is that?  You keep stuff out of the landfill, help people, and get a tax deduction for your green efforts.