glasses recyle

Spread the word… If anyone has eyeglasses that are no longer being used they can be donated to the Lions’ Recycle For Sight Program to be distributed across the Pacific Islands to help improve quality of life for people who are visually impaired.

This wonderful initiative was originally inspired by Helen Keller in 1925 when she challenged Lions to become “knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness.” Lions Clubs welcome prescription and reading glasses, sunglasses, plastic and metal frames, and are especially in need of children’s glasses. Scroll down for more details, including where to send unwanted glasses, and information on how to partner with local businesses to host a collection point in your community.

From the Lions International website…

Recycle Eyeglasses – Usable Glasses Give New Life

In just about any home, one can find a pair of eyeglasses that are no longer being used. That same pair of eyeglasses can change another person’s life. That’s why the Lions started the Recycle For Sight program. Everyone can help.

If you have used eyeglasses you no longer need, you can donate them now. Lions accept prescription and reading glasses, sunglasses and plastic and metal frames. Children’s glasses are especially needed.

Lions Clubs throughout New Zealand collect these unwanted spectacles and send them to our processing centres where they are sorted, checked for scratches, cracks and screws tightened before being washed in an ultrasonic washer and dried. They then have their prescription recorded and are packed for delivery to Volunteer Ophthalmologist Services Overseas (VOSO) for distribution to those with poor eyesight in the Pacific Islands.

Type 2 Diabetes is common in the Islands and is the main cause of blindness. Lions Clubs in the Islands receive the glasses and distribute them to visiting volunteer Optometrists who test patients and fit them with the recycled glasses at no cost.

VOSO consists of teams of eye surgeons, optometrists and eye care workers who visit the isolated communities and bring enhancement to the lives of hundreds of people annually. The project has provided over 80,000 pairs of glasses which would have a replacement value in excess of $15 million.

Sunglasses are also a useable item for the Islands particularly after cataract operations. Transporting the glasses to the Islands is always a problem so any way to help is appreciated. Some firms have spare room in their containers and are happy to help. Some travellers take a few boxes up as personal luggage.


Ever since Helen Keller inspired us to champion the cause in 1925, we’ve served and advocated for the blind and visually impaired. Nearly a century later, this long-standing mission continues unhindered.

We have a long history of serving the blind and visually impaired, and remain committed to continuing this mission into our next century of service.

Our Strategic Objective

Prevent avoidable blindness and improve quality of life for people who are blind and visually impaired.

Listen to an interview on glasses recycling by Jennie Vowles of Karori Lions on the radio:

Eyeglass Recycling – How You Can Help

Spectacles can be sent to any one of the following:

Papakura Lions Club:

21 Youngs Road, Papakura 2110
Contact: Kevin Bromwich
T: (09) 298 1414
E: [email protected]

Karori Lions Club:

Tom Lumb
11A Lewer Street
Wellington 6012
T: (04) 934 3372  Mob 021 212 2781
E: [email protected]

Cromwell Lions Clubs:

C/- Andy Andrews, 57 Horace Street, Cromwell, 9310
Contact: Andy Andrews
T: 021 842 346
E: [email protected]

Set up Collection Locations with Local Partners: Invite community partners such as local businesses, schools, optical shops, libraries, places of worship, city administrative centers and eye care professionals to host eyeglass collection boxes. Maintain contact with these partners and schedule regular pick-ups.

Click here to find out more about setting up collection locations with local partners.

For More Information:

Lions Clubs International
Service Activities Division
Tel:  630-571-5466
Fax: 630-571-1692
[email protected]