The Journey Begins:  Collection

Collection box
Transporting Eyeglasses

Donations are collected throughout the district by Lions Clubs, optometrist’s offices, at libraries or they are dropped off here at the Center.  The Center staff logs information about the donations and issues thank you notes and receipts as appropriate.


Sorting eyeglasses
Mount Vernon Evening Lions sorting eyeglasses

The recycling process starts with sorting out and removing glasses with scratched lenses, broken frames, and certain types of restricted metal frames.  Sometimes the restricted frames are sold for recycling and funds from the sale of restricted metal frames helps pay for the recycling program.  The staff at each location instructs volunteers on how to perform each task. Even the newest volunteer will be making useful contributions within minutes after starting.

Cleaning, Sanitizing and Drying

Processing Glasses
Washing Glasses
Drying glasses

Roni, Jun and Ronnie drying glasses at LERCNOVA

Volunteers prepare the eyeglasses, washing them with soap and warm water for cleaning, and dipping them in bleach and hot water for disinfecting and vinegar and hot water to prevent streaking, after which they hand dry them. 

Reading Prescription (Rx)

Lensometer pix
LJ Lions Club at Park West

Next, the volunteers classify the eyeglasses using an instrument called a lensometer to measure the prescription of the glasses. Then the glasses are individually placed in small plastic bags with the Rx marked on each bag.


Eyeglass box

Volunteers then sort the glasses by Rx and type and then boxed 50 per carton.  The type (Reader, Child, etc.) and Rx range are marked on each carton for easy reference when filling requests for glasses.  For shipping to requestors, the cartons can be packed into larger boxes which can hold up to 8 cartons (400 eyeglasses).


Donated previously owned eyeglasses are typically sent out of the U.S. due to the legal constraints concerning the dispersal of prescriptive devices.  

Most requests for glasses come from groups who do missions around the world. The glasses are provided free of charge. The only two restrictions are that they cannot be sold and the organization requesting them pays for the shipping.  The Center asks the requestor to complete an after-mission report within a month of the conclusion of the mission stating when and where, the number of patients served , and the number of eyeglasses dispensed, along with a photo, if available.

Eyeglass distribution (2)
Dr Sharon Joyce Yu (crop)
Eyeglass Distribution in Baguio