Donate Eyeglasses & Hearing Aids
We need to constantly replenish our supply of used eyeglasses. Because of scratched lenses, only one in three pair of donated eyeglasses can be recycled. There is a great demand for children’s eyeglasses.

You can donate eyeglasses by depositing them in a Lions Club collection box, mailing them to the Center, or dropping them off at the Center. Our physical address is:

919 S Monroe St
Arlington, VA 22204

Send hearing aids, too. We pass them on to the Lions Hearing Aid Bank Foundation which recycles them: 

Central Virginia Lions Hearing Aid Bank
10286 Staples Mill Road -131
Glen Allen, Virginia 23060
Email:  hearaidsva@gmail.com .

Ship or mail your donation. If shipping by UPS or FedEx, please indicate a “shipper’s release,” that is, instructions to UPS or FedEx to deliver the package without requiring s signature.

Your donation is tax deductible. If you desire a tax receipt, leave a note with the eyeglasses containing your name, address and telephone number.

We appreciate each donation we receive and thank all of you who have supported this project.
Request Eyeglasses
To obtain recycled eyeglasses from the Lions Eyeglass Recycling Center of Northern Virginia, complete an Eyeglass Request Form. Complete the form in its entirety, then mail or e-mail it to the Center at the addresses shown on the form.
 If you need assistance completing the form, the Center staff is available to assist you.

Download or print the Eyeglass Request Form which is Adobe Acrobat or (pdf) format. The Center requests allowing it 8-10 weeks to fill your request. Our ability to fill the request depends the lead-time that the applicant gives the Center gather the eyeglasses.

There is no charge for eyeglasses However, the requestor must assure the Center that the glasses will be given free to needy people. They must provide shipping instructions, pay for shipping and arrange for customs clearance.

After the mission, the requestor must report to the Center the number of people examined and the number of people fitted with eyeglasses on the Mission After Action Report form. Please report any especially poignant or special events related to vision services on the mission.

We provide eyeglasses, 50 to a box, each box containing eyeglasses in the prescription ranges shown on the Eyeglass Request Form.

The Center encourages all missions to staff themselves with medical or other personnel capable of determining a patient’s eyeglass prescription. Priority goes to such missions, and to missions that give the Center the time specified on the Eyeglass Request Form to accumulate the requested eyeglasses.
About Us
The Lions Eyeglass Recycling Center of Northern Virginia, Inc. is located at 919 S Monroe St, Arlington 22204.

The Center’s purpose is to recycle used eyeglasses and provide them to optical missions sponsored by Lions Clubs and other groups that distribute donated eye eyeglasses to needy people.

The Center is located in Lions of Virginia District 24-L and operates at a main Center in Arlington and the Lake of the Wood Lions Club and the Lake of the Woods Lioness Lions Club, the Park West Lions Club and the Remington Lions Club.

Volunteers to do the work and conduct the business of the Center. These come from Lions, Lioness Lions Clubs, Leo Clubs, and other community service and charitable groups and individuals. We have a dedicated group who do this but there is always a need for more hands.
Since Helen Keller challenged Lions to become Knights of the Blind, Lions Clubs from around the world have initiated programs aimed at helping vision and hearing-impaired people.

The Lions Eyeglass Recycling program collects, and processes used eyeglasses and makes them available to people in need around the world. Today there are six centers in other countries and thirteen (13) in the United States. The Lions Eyeglass Recycling Center of Northern Virginia, Inc. (LERCNOVA) is one of them.

In 1998 at the suggestion of the Dr. Byers of Arlington Hospital, who was experiencing difficulty in obtaining a sufficient supply of glasses to take on medical missions, members of Falls Church and Arlington Host Lions drove to Roanoke to learn about their Center. Those Lions were John Ferguson and Clark Erikson of Falls Church, and Tom Caruso and Ed Ablard of Arlington. On their return, Clark wrote a Lions Club International Foundation grant request for $10,000 to start a center in Northern Virginia. The grant was approved. The center soon became operational.

It began in the basement of Shreve McGonegal Plumbing Supply in Falls Church, VA. When the housing bubble crashed, Shreve McGonegal needed to rent the space. LERCNoVA had paid $1.00 annually. LERC NoVA couldn’t afford the new rent, which caused the center to find a new location. Dr. Byers arranged for a location on S. Carlin Springs Road which was home for the LERC NoVA for many years. 

In January 2019, the LERC NOVA was relocated to 919 South Monroe St in Arlington, VA. The Center is staffed totally by volunteers. Since established, there have been four Executive Directors: John Ferguson, Chuck Mendelbaum, Roy Davis and John Karinshak.

The processing of the glasses includes sorting out scratched lenses and broken frames, washing and drying, reading the prescriptions (RX) on lensometers and bagging them individually with RX noted on each bag. The bagged eyeglasses are then placed in the shipping room, boxed 50 pairs per box sorted by type and RX. Most requests for glasses come from groups who do missions around the world. The glasses are provided free of charge. The only two restrictions are that they cannot be sold and the organization requesting them pays the shipping.

Donations are collected throughout the district by Lions clubs, optometrist’s offices, at libraries or they are dropped off here at the Center. Moreover, volunteers at the Center come from many groups, high school honor students, Boy and Girl Scouts, local church volunteers or people with required community service hours or folks who just want to help. The Center is a good place to meet new people and make new friends.

Since inception, through June 2018 LERCNOVA has shipped over 3,000,000 pairs of eyeglasses to those in need. The center has many photos showing the smiles of those who have received their eyeglasses.

Proof that the Center’s work is CHANGING LIVES, ONE PAIR AT A TIME!