2 Places You Cannot Donate Old Eyewear

2 Places You Cannot Donate Old Eyewear

Once your vision changes, you’ll need a new prescription, but wait! What will you do with your old specs? You spent your entire vision budget on them just a year ago, and just because they no longer serve you, it feels wrong to toss them in the trash. 

Thankfully, your Earth-minded buddies at Stoggles have the recycling solutions you need so you can get your new prescription and mindfully dispose of your old one, keeping your vision safe and your conscience clear. 

First, let’s cover the places that will not take your old prescription eyewear. 

No Prescription Donations, Please

Most charities that accept used items (like Goodwill and Salvation Army) will accept your rejected eyewear in practically any condition it’s in. However, there are a few caveats, and a few charities that won’t take just any pair of frames.

1. The Salvation Army

Yes, they’ll technically accept your old eyewear, but it must be clean, undamaged, and in good working condition. In other words, if you’ve got a pair of peeps that has a coating that is no longer usable, save it for a different charity that may be able to use it for recycling purposes. 

2. Lions Club International 

You can donate old readers, sunglasses, or frames to Lions Club International. They recycle them and send them to developing countries. Just find your nearest drop off location, or package and mail them. 

Most of the charities we located accept all types of eyewear, even prescription lenses. In fact, we found some really innovative web-based charities that collect eyewear and redistribute it to people in need by prescription. 

Where Can You Donate Prescription Eyewear?

Sure, you can probably just box up your old prescription lenses (along with shake weights and at-home rotisserie cooker) and drop them off at your local Goodwill. Goodwill accepts practically any donations, regardless of condition.

Some locations, however, are able to match your eyewear with people in need in your community. To be part of this program, contact your local Goodwill charity and find out how to donate your eyewear. It will probably require a trip inside the store instead of a drop-off box.

If you’d rather not go the Goodwill route, or if you don’t live near a donation center, you’ve still got options. 

1. Respectacle

This charity is web-based, and matches donated prescription eyewear with people in need. You simply send in your old prescription eyewear (make sure it is properly packaged), and they list it on their website so that people who need vision correction can get the eyewear they need at a discount.

To purchase eyewear from Respectacle, there is a small processing fee (usually under $10). You can make a donation if you are able to or simply pay the processing fee to get a pair of prescription glasses. 

2. OneSight

OneSight is an organization committed to eliminating the world vision crisis. They accept gently used eyewear, but only distribute new eyewear through your ongoing world mission program. Used eyewear that is sent to them is forwarded to various Lions Club locations to be matched to users in need.

3. Eyes of Hope

A charity launched by VSP Vision, Eyes of Hope not only accepts your old eyewear, they also provide mobile vision clinics to those in need. Information on their website provides details about how to ship your used eyewear to them. Got contact lenses? This charity will even take those, too. They’ll ensure they are properly cleaned and redistributed to people who do not have access to proper vision correction. 

4. The Lighthouse

This foundation based in Georgia will accept any new or used eyewear. If you aren’t close, you can ship your eyewear to them (at your own expense). This foundation also recycles hearing aids, so if you or someone you know has some of those laying around, go ahead and box those up and ship it forward. 

5. Walmart

Like Goodwill, Walmart doesn’t discriminate when it comes to eyewear donations. If you have eyewear that is still in working condition, they’ll take them. Simply bring your used glasses with you on your next Walmart run and pop by the vision center to donate them. 

6. Lens Crafters

Lens Crafters has partnered with OneSight to contribute to eliminating the global vision crisis. You can drop off your used eyewear at any store to have it redistributed to those in need all over the globe. 

When you’re ready to make a donation, there are a few steps to take to make sure you aren’t donating an item that is simply not usable. 

How To Decide Whether To Donate or Toss Eyewear

Let’s be honest: sometimes, you donate items that should really be sent to a scrap or recycling center. 

To determine if your eyewear is donation-worthy, make sure it meets the following criteria:

  • The frames are in good condition, not bent, broken, or warped. The screws are intact, and any damage is cosmetic (like scratches or chipped coating on the arms). 
  • The lenses are not damaged. Do not donate eyewear that has broken, chipped, cracked, or cloudy lenses. If the lenses are no longer usable, don’t donate them. 
  • Any protective or specialized coatings are still intact. Many types of eyewear come with specialized coatings that can wear off during use. Don’t donate eyewear that has faded or damaged coatings. 

Bottom line: If you can technically still use the glasses but simply can’t because the prescription no longer corrects your vision, go ahead and donate them. If you can’t use the glasses because they are damaged, just toss them or send them to a plastic or glass recycling center.

Level Up Your Eyewear

Once you’ve found the best place to donate your old eyewear, it’s time to focus on a new pair of specs. If you think we’re going to recommend Stoggles, you’re absolutely correct. Not only can we customize our eyewear with your eyewear prescription, we do it in-house saving you time and money. Simply upload your prescription to our website, and we’ll do the rest. 

Getting a pair of Stoggles is like getting three different kinds of eyewear in one. They look like your favorite specs, protect like safety eyewear, and have available options like polarized or light-responsive lenses.

Each pair of Stoggles we create comes with impressive features.

1. Shatter Resistance

You just donated your old glasses, you don’t want to risk breaking your new ones. With Stoggles, you don’t have to worry. Our eyewear is crafted from lightweight, super-durable polycarbonate, and tested to meet ANSI Z87.1-2020 safety standards.

Whether at home, work, or play, your eyes will be protected from rocks, darts, pellets, fists, or any other high-speed flying object in your path. 

2. UV Light Protection

The sun is no good for your eyes, and even though you no longer participate in stare-at-the-sun challenges as you did as a prepubescent child, your eyes are still at risk. UV protection has nothing to do with the level of shade on your glasses. Some super shady glasses are even shadier because they don’t come with proper UV protection. 

Stoggles polycarbonate lenses are naturally UV blocking, whether you opt for crystal clear lenses, or Dimmers, which are responsive to light like photochromic lenses. 

3. Side and Top Shields

Safety glasses that leave your eyes unprotected around the sides and tops of the lenses aren’t really safe. That’s why Stoggles relies on top and side shields to ensure your eyes are safe. This design is low profile and never interferes with your corrective vision prescription. 

Wraparound lenses won’t always interfere with your vision prescription, but they can, so if you choose this type of eyewear, make sure you read the reviews.

4. Fog-Free Vision

Tired of spending all your money on anti-fog drops and wipes? We don’t blame you. That’s why we don’t waste time with foggy eyewear. Stoggles are coated with a revolutionary and proprietary anti-fogging compound that changes the way water condenses on the lens. That means your eyewear stays fog-free without wiping, swiping, or cursing. 

5. Blue Light Blockers

Like UV light, blue light can also pass through your cornea and reach the back of your eye, where your retina is located. The retina is home to your vision cells. Vision cells are precious and limited. That means when they are damaged, a part of your vision is damaged, too. 

Researchers aren’t sure how much damage blue light can do to our eyes, but the fact that it can penetrate the retina is alarming. While research is ongoing, protect your eyes from this intrusive light (which is emitted from the sun, your LED television, laptop, and smartphone). Stoggles have blue-light blocking lenses to keep your eyes safe no matter what light source is in your line of vision. 

6. Superior Style

Why choose Stoggles? For starters, you like your vision. The best way to keep your vision is by protecting your eyes, and Stoggles gives you the vision protection you need all wrapped up in a durable, comfortable, and stylish package. 

We offer numerous different frame styles (including cat-eye and aviator) in unexpected colors so that you can fully customize your eyewear look. Want safety eyewear in pink cat-eye frames? Just say the word (or, you know, click the “add to cart” button). 

Donate, Recycle, Shop Stoggles

Your old eyewear needs a one-way ticket to donation-ville, or possibly the scrap yard. Once you’ve done your duty as a good human being, treat yourself by making your next pair of specs a pair of Stoggles. All the features you want, all the styles you need. Stoggles is the safety eyewear that protects your vision and style. 


Eyeglass Recycling Centers | Lions Clubs International


Eyes of Hope

The Sun, UV Light and Your Eyes - American Academy of Ophthalmology

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