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How to Donate to Do Good and Declutter, Too

Have you ever wondered if the stuff in your house secretly reproduces itself in the dark of night? I’m nearly convinced that’s the case in my home. I do know the problem.

We get new stuff but don’t remove an equal amount of old stuff to make room for it. And I’m not talking about useless trash.

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I’m the first to admit it’s not easy to throw away a perfectly good pair of eyeglasses—even if they are the wrong prescription. Or a cell phone or computer that still works, but is now obsolete. And we shouldn’t. But filling our lives and spaces with all kinds of stuff we don’t need or use is not the answer, either.

My quest to find a charitable place to donate usable eyeglasses turned up other ways we can do good and perhaps get money-saving tax breaks, too.

Prescription Eyeglasses

For more than 80 years, Lions Clubs International has collected and distributed prescription eyeglasses to the needy around the world. Got a few pairs around your house you wouldn’t mind donating to this excellent cause?

Lions Club sponsors numerous sight initiatives, including eyeglass donations. Glasses collected by the Lions Club go to programs such as schools, community centers, churches, and developing countries.

For a list of Lions Eyeglass Recycling Centers, this page or look for Lions Club collection boxes at Walmart vision centers and Sam’s Club stores; at local Lions Clubs and Goodwill Industries stores. You can also go to LionsClubs.org. to find a drop-off location.

 

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OneSight is a wonderful organization that hand delivers gently used prescription eyeglasses to global, regional, and community clinics. To donate your glasses to OneSight, drop them off at your local LensCrafters,  Pearle Vision, Sears Optical, or Target Optical. Click here to find a donation box near you.

 

RELATED: Worst and Best Ways to Clean Your Eyeglasses

Bicycles and Sewing Machines

Many communities have bicycle recycle programs that help underprivileged kids through earn-a-bike incentive programs. The International Bicycle Fund is one such organization that also distributes bikes around the world.

Pedals for Progress has received, processed and donated over 155,000 bicycles, 4,000 used sewing machines and $10.8 million in new spare parts to partner charities in developing countries.

This group partners with charities around the world where poor people need cheap non-polluting transportation and a way to use their skills to become more self-sufficient or start a small business.

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