Since 1994 the Lions of Illinois Foundation have distributed more than 5,000,000 pairs of donated previously owned eyeglasses. These recycled eyeglasses are given to people in need, with the help of various medical missionaries, in Central and South America and across the globe. When the eyeglasses arrive in these countries, doctors and technicians conduct free eye exams and provide a free pair of prescription eyeglasses that are as close as possible to that person’s sight needs.

How are eyeglasses collected?
The collection of eyeglasses is simple. Free Donation/Collection boxes are available from the LIF to place in local stores or use at a Club & community function. When the boxes are full they are picked up by local Lions members and dropped off at collection depots. The public can also support this program by donating used eyeglasses to your local Lions Club.

What can be donated?
Any type of eyeglasses and visual aid is welcome. The program can use sunglasses, telescopic, magnifying, and prescription eyeglasses. Eyeglass cases cannot be redistributed due to sanitary issues and health guidelines.

Who receives the glasses?
Donated previously owned eyeglasses are typically sent out of the U.S. due to the legal constraints concerning the dispersal of prescriptive devices, and the shipment of certain types of metal, glasses are sorted and restricted frames are sold for recycling. Funds from the sale of restricted metal frames help pay for the program and other humanitarian services of the LIF.

How can your Club help?
Your help is always needed, whether to place donation boxes, hold an event to collect eyeglasses at a local store, or by volunteering to assist in the sorting process of donated eyewear. To volunteer to assist in the pick-up or sorting of eyeglasses please contact the LIF offices. We are always glad to have volunteers help in this vital project.

Click here to download and print an eyeglass donation card for your use.