Think your eyeglasses are expensive?
If you've ever fretted about the weight lifted from your wallet after a visit to the eyeglass store, imagine how you would feel about your eyeglasses if your income was only about one dollar a day. The sad truth is that this is the reality for millions of people throughout the world. Families in underdeveloped nations in Latin America, Africa, and Southeast Asia struggle just to buy food and essential medicine. To them, corrected vision is a luxury they can only dream of.
You can help!
What to do
Luckily there is something you can do to help. When your doctor changes your eyeglass prescription, or when you just decide to change your style, don't toss your old glasses in the trash! Carefully pack them in a small box with soft padding so the lenses won't break and donate them to charity.
Where to do it
There are many organizations throughout the world dedicated to providing eyeglasses to the poorest among us. Your local Lions Club probably has a drop point somewhere. Many chain eyeglass stores collect unwanted glasses as well, so check with your local LensCrafters or Pearle Vision or wherever it is you happened to buy your new pair to see if they will take them. You can also go straight to the source and send your old reading glasses to the charity organizations that distribute them throughout the world, such as New Eyes for the Needy, Glasses For Humanity, and Unite for Sight.
Congratulations, you've just made a difference!
Now that your old eyeglasses on are their way to someone who will really appreciate them, sit back and think about the good you've done. A child can now see the blackboard at his or her village school. A poor mom can take up sewing or weaving again, provide better for her children, and empower herself to take charge of her own life.
Wishing you could do more?
Bug your friends
Now that you see the good that your one pair of eyeglasses can do, you'll wish you had more glasses to donate. You probably don't have dozens of old eyeglasses lying around, but you probably do know dozens of people who have one pair each stashed in a drawer. Start a collection among your close friends and family, and make a larger donation.
Bug your neighbors
If you're feeling extra ambitious, start a drive among your whole community! Partner with community leaders and ask if you can set up collection boxes at your local library, house of worship, or recreational center. After a few weeks you'll have collected plenty more glasses to donate, and educated your entire community about the joys of assisting those less fortunate.