As you might have seen on social media, if you follow my rumblings there, I have just changed my specs. I no longer look like a librarian; I now officially look like a geek! :) Either are just fine by me, but I'm blessed enough to be able to change my specs whenever I get bored of them and have the excuse of a new prescription. So when I got back home with my brand new pair of eyes (and I'm like a child with a new toy. Sad, but true.), I had a problem: what to do with my old boring pair of glasses?
The rubbish bin looked very tempting, with its big mouth that swallows everything I don't want to see in my house and solves quite a few of my problems. But I decided earlier this year that I would try to recycle things that were on working order, rather than letting the very capitalist consumerist in me use and dispose of everything in the path of my 30 seconds attention span. So I set off looking for a way to ethically dispose of my perfectly good, but now unwanted, pair of glasses. This is when I came across Vision Aid Overseas.
Vision Aid Overseas works mostly in Africa; it provides glasses for free for adults and children, builds vision centres and trains local people to work in them as specialists. Here in the UK, we take for granted the fact opticians are widely available and wearing glasses is within anyone's reach even if you can't fund them yourself, but poor vision can really halt a child's education and an adult's job prospects elsewhere in the world. I remember when I was younger and it became apparent I needed glasses. I couldn't read anything in the board at school and I had constant headaches from straining my vision trying to read it. Not fun.
In the UK, a lot of the optical practices will collect your old specs and send it to them. So why not let them have it and recycle it by giving it to someone who needs them and can't afford to buy them? Mine are on their way. If you have unwanted specs lying around your house for whatever reason, you can really help someone else by decluttering. And if you are feeling truly generous, you can also donate to this amazing project. People can't read if they can't see.
The video below is a little old, Blogger wouldn't let me find the newer ones on YouTube, but this one gives you a good insight into the amazing work Vision Aid Overseas is doing. You can also visit their YouTube channel here.