Old glasses can give the gift of vision to those in need

Eyeglass donation drive underway through March 30

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Old glasses can give the gift of vision to those in need

Eyeglass donations can be dropped off in the nurse's office until March 30.

“They need to be regular glasses, they just can’t be sunglasses,” junior Sathya Balakumar said. “Let’s say you had glasses and switched to contacts for example, like you have the full credit you don’t use or your prescription has changed, you just need the actual frame and not actually the lense itself. We don’t want plastic or like 3D lenses because you can’t actually use that to help people, but just regular eyeglasses.”

Eyeglass donations can be dropped off in the nurse's office until March 30. “They need to be regular glasses, they just can’t be sunglasses,” junior Sathya Balakumar said. “Let’s say you had glasses and switched to contacts for example, like you have the full credit you don’t use or your prescription has changed, you just need the actual frame and not actually the lense itself. We don’t want plastic or like 3D lenses because you can’t actually use that to help people, but just regular eyeglasses.”

Keegan Williams

Eyeglass donations can be dropped off in the nurse's office until March 30. “They need to be regular glasses, they just can’t be sunglasses,” junior Sathya Balakumar said. “Let’s say you had glasses and switched to contacts for example, like you have the full credit you don’t use or your prescription has changed, you just need the actual frame and not actually the lense itself. We don’t want plastic or like 3D lenses because you can’t actually use that to help people, but just regular eyeglasses.”

Keegan Williams

Keegan Williams

Eyeglass donations can be dropped off in the nurse's office until March 30. “They need to be regular glasses, they just can’t be sunglasses,” junior Sathya Balakumar said. “Let’s say you had glasses and switched to contacts for example, like you have the full credit you don’t use or your prescription has changed, you just need the actual frame and not actually the lense itself. We don’t want plastic or like 3D lenses because you can’t actually use that to help people, but just regular eyeglasses.”

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The ability to see clearly is often taken granted for by most people. Those who lack good vision are able to see with the help or eyeglasses and contacts lenses, but many people across the world don’t have access to them or can’t afford them.

That’s what prompted junior Sathya Balakumar to team up with school nurse Emily Mikeska and host an eyeglass donation drive through March 30, in which students can donate unused frames to developing countries.

These old glasses are kind of just sitting around your house not doing anything, so let’s put them to good use,”

— school nurse Emily Mikeska

“He approached me about his vision of doing a donation drive for eyeglasses and I think it’s just a great idea,” Mikeska said. “I told him that I’d be glad to help support him with it and be a drop off location for people to donate eyeglasses. What we’re trying to do is raise frames, they don’t necessarily have to have glasses in them.”

Students that donate two pairs of eyeglasses and record their student ID have the opportunity to gain service hours.

“A lot of us might have the luxury of having outgrown glasses or that we’ve just gotten new frames, or your current prescription is just not working for you anymore,” Mikeska said. “These old glasses are kind of just sitting around your house not doing anything, so let’s put them to good use and it’s amazing that there is such a huge need out in the community for it.”  

For the purpose of Balakumar’s drive, eyeglasses can’t be new or have lenses.

“They need to be regular glasses, they just can’t be sunglasses,” Balakumar said. “Let’s say you had glasses and switched to contacts for example, like you have the full credit you don’t use or your prescription has changed, you just need the actual frame and not actually the lense itself. We don’t want plastic or like 3D lenses because you can’t actually use that to help people, but just regular eyeglasses.”

When we donate we can help cut the costs by half or even three-fourths of what they would pay for lenses and their frames,”

— sophomore Hitha Rajesh

With many eyeglass frames costing hundreds of dollars without insurance, they can be an expensive burden for local families and many people worldwide.

“Many people in developing countries, they can’t see and they also can’t afford to have eyeglasses because it’s super expensive,” sophomore Hitha Rajesh said. “When we donate we can help cut the costs by half or even three-fourths of what they would pay for lenses and their frames.”

Eyeglasses are incremental to students’ success with the American Optometric Association stressing that poor vision can cause one’s education to suffer greatly.

“I wear glasses and I know how hard it is when people can’t see and it affects their learning and their education and daily tasks so that would be very helpful,” Rajesh said. “I have tons of old pairs [of eyeglasses]. I donate them in India everytime I go, but I have a few that I can donate.”