For decades, the Lions have spearheaded the effort to collect used eyeglasses in the United States and redistribute them in developing countries. Hundreds of thousands of pairs of eyeglasses are collected across the U.S. and Canada. The Oregon Lions Sight & Hearing Foundation administers the Lions Eyeglasses Recycling Program for the State of Oregon. Over 150,000 eyeglasses are collected every year from communities across the state. Throughout the process, in your neighborhood and to the mission field, it is a Lions Club member doing the work to collect, sort and distribute the eyeglasses.
To find out where you can donate your old eyeglasses, please click here or on the button above.
The Lions Clubs set up drop boxes throughout their communities at locations such as doctor's offices, eye care clinics, laser surgery sites, grocery stores, and small businesses. The Lions Club is then responsible for transporting the collected eyeglasses to the Foundation office in Portland. Other service organizations, such as the Elks, Kiwanis, Northwest Medical Teams and Boy Scouts of America partner with with us by giving the Lions eyeglasses that they have collected.
Eyeglass Sorting Parties are scheduled throughout the month. If you would like to attend, please RSVP by clicking here.
Some clubs hold their own sorting parties as a special club activity and we encourage all Lions to pre-sort their collected eyeglasses by removing any cases or loose lens. We have streamlined the sorting process, making it easier for Lions and other volunteers to process the eyeglasses.
Currently, the Foundation partners with Coffee Creek Correctional Facility to process eyeglasses. At CCCF, there are up to 20 inmates that clean, calibrate and sort the eyeglasses for missions. This program has been in place for several years and gives the women a chance to give back to the community.
Supplying Mission Trips
Vouchers are issued from the inventory of calibrated eyeglasses to mission teams. This enables us to monitor the number of eyeglasses that leave the warehouse. Some of the organizations we partner with are Lions Clubs, Lions in Sight, Northwest Medical Teams, Mercy Ships, Mercy Corps, Hope Alliance, VOSH and the AMIGOS.
Some of the countries that have benefited from eyeglasses we provided are: Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Solomon Islands, West Samoa, the former Soviet Union, El Salvador, Peru, and Kenya.
The Foundation is grateful for the continued efforts of the Lions of Oregon and all of the partnering organizations. Working together we collect more used eyeglasses for missions that will help more individuals in developing countries around the world see more clearly.
Lions Eyeglass Assistance Program (LEAP)
Since House Bill 2312 passed in 2011, the Foundation has developed the LEAP program which will enable us to distribute used eyeglasses to pre-qualified Oregonians in need. We have created an initial database with over 1,800 used eyeglasses that will give participating providers access to our inventory. We are currently in the process of developing a network of statewide providers and program partners.