Recycle for Sight

Collecting Used Glasses Since 2018

GirlGuidesBallarat glasses 8022In 2018, the 1st Sebastopol Girl Guides took on a service challenge to help local Lions Clubs to collect glasses to send to third-world countries.

Kaitlyn Brown, a member of the 1st Sebastopol Guide Unit, took on the challenge as a service project for the Queens Guide Award, collating the donated glasses, maintaining collection details and keeping track of the tally. The project became a team effort with Guides from several local units also collecting glasses, and Sebastopol Guides helping to package the glasses to be posted.

Guides and Junior Guides from various Units decorated collection boxes to take to their schools and to distribute to local businesses, providing drop-off points for the public.

At the time, a quote in The Miner newspaper said

The Guides have no idea if collecting 2018 pairs of glasses is actually an achievable goal but they are looking forward to seeing how close they can get. It’s more about making a concerted effort to contribute and raise awareness of the Recycle for Sight program.

By the end of the year, the tally had reached 4510 !!!

The public support was greater than anticipated, providing people with a useful purpose for the glasses they no longer needed.

Over subsequent years, we just lost count. But we do know that our efforts help many thousands of people every year.

Lions Recycle for Sight

Australian Lions Clubs have donated over 19 million pairs of spectacles, sunglasses, frames and lenses to third world countries. The Recycle for Sight project began in 1998 and is run by volunteers. They clean, sort and labels 450,000 pairs of used spectacles each year.

This initiative helps children to see the blackboard for a better education and enables adults to work to support their families.

In Ballarat, Barry Davis from Brown Hill Lions Club is the District Coordinator for District 201v1-4.  Barry adds the glasses collected by the Guides to those contributed from local optometrists and sends them to the Lions Glasses Recycling Centre at Redcliffe Queensland. There, they are sorted, cleaned, graded and labelled, then transported to third world countries for distribution by local volunteers and medical support teams.