Who Receives Donated Eyeglasses?


Quick Answer

Although it depends on the organization, most donated eyeglasses go overseas to people in poor and developing nations such as Honduras and Kenya. People of all ages receive donated glasses.

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Full Answer

Many people who receive glasses live in rural areas. Some may live in countries that have prosperous regions but a lot of poverty, such as China. These glasses are usually distributed to anyone who cannot afford his own glasses. Some charities use ready-made reading glasses, while others provide more specific prescription lenses. Some also provide non-prescription safety goggles and sunglasses to help prevent eye injuries.

Other charities, such as the Prevention of Blindness Society of Metropolitan Washington, take donated glasses apart and use them to repair damaged glasses of impoverished local families. When the supplies are not needed locally, the recycled pairs may be donated to hospitals and clinics in developing nations. As of 2015, this organization also provides new frames and lenses to people living in poverty in the United States.

Some programs that accept donated frames simply recycle the materials for monetary compensation. This money is then used to purchase and distribute new eyewear to needy people. This is a more cost-effective option due to the high number of donated glasses that are unusable due to poor condition or other factors.

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