After getting LASIK on Friday, I immediately knew that I needed to find somewhere to donate all of my old supplies–glasses, unused contacts, unused contact cases, unopened solution. I usually hang onto things for weeks/months after I need them, just in case, but in this case, it really makes sense to donate everything as quickly as possible. Contacts and solution both expire, and even if I do need glasses down the road, I will definitely need a brand-new prescription.
Prescription glasses are easy. You can donate your gently worn (i.e., not broken or scratched) glasses at any Lenscrafters location. Partnered with OneSight, they run clinics in developing countries and distribute glasses to people who otherwise would not have access to them.
Contact lenses are a little bit harder to donate. You can usually return unopened boxes to the store, but I had two almost full but not unopened boxes. They’re about $30/each, so I was sure someone could use them, right? MADRE accepts contact lenses, glasses, etc., and distributes them to women in developing countries. They accept all sorts of other stuff as well (check out their wish list), but you have to ship the items to New York. I am going to ship my old contacts and glasses there later today!