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December 6, 2017

Most people have noticed the Lions Club’s yellow and blue painted recycled U.S. mailboxes that are scattered around New Jersey. And many of those folks have thoughtfully dropped their used eyeglasses into one of them to be recycled.

Those donors and the local Lions Clubs that maintain the boxes and collect the eyeglasses begin an operation that reaches into the far corners of the world, improving eyesight and enhancing lives.

How many spectacles flow through the yellow and blue boxes of the N.J. Eyeglass Recycling Center? A lot! More specifically, in the year ending March 31, 2017, we received 1,015,572 pairs of eyeglasses.

Those eyeglasses were then sent to skilled volunteers – seniors in Lakehurst-Manchester and inmates of the Edna Mahon Women’s Correctional Facility near Clinton and the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center in Avenel. We are grateful to these volunteers – all people with time on their hands and a desire to help others. They sorted and cleaned the glasses and examined the lenses to determine their prescription.

The recycled glasses are then sent to our recycling center in West Trenton, and in that 2016-17 year, 73,928 were forwarded to a variety of medical missions which fitted them onto the smiling faces of people in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, South and Central America, and in the United States, too.

What happened to the hundreds of thousands of spectacles that weren’t distributed? Some of them went into inventory awaiting deployment, but most of them were too scratched or worn out for reuse. So those lenses and frames were sold to a specialized recycling company – Re Specs, Los Angeles, California. Although our system runs mostly on warm hearts, these sales produce the cold cash that pays our bills.

Our annual budget is only $59,200 dollars, but as our president Al Brewer says, “our most valuable asset is the desire to help others all over the world, and that’s what really energizes our network. Thank you all so much!”


The NJLERC supports many missions around the world, including:

Africa, Antigua, Bangladesh, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Burma, Cambodia, Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, India, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Kenya, Malawi, Mexico, Nicaragua,Nigeria, Peru, Philippines, South America, United States and Zambi.


Announcing Start of NJCURE Pilot Program

April 22, 2013

Trenton, April 1, 2013 — The New Jersey Lions Eyeglass Recycling Center, a 501 (c) (3) Non-Profit Organization that is run by unpaid volunteers, is pleased to announce the start of the NJ CURE ‘Pilot” Program. The goal of this Pilot Program is to make it possible for any individual in New Jersey, who does not have insurance or does not have the financial ability to pay for an eye exam or a pair of eyeglasses, to receive assistance through NJ CURE with the application help of a local Lions Club and a local Eyecare Provider who is willing to donate an eye exam.  NJ CURE will then provide the prescribed eyeglasses to the Eyecare Provider who fits the eyeglasses to the person who received the donated eye exam.

Due to challenging economic times and growing unemployment, the reality is that more people are losing jobs and their vision coverage. According to NJ CURE Coordinator, Alan Brewer, “It is not unreasonable to ask a local Eyecare Provider to give a little time to help someone less fortunate in a town where they make their living– it just makes good sense to give back.” Lions will also benefit from having a network of volunteer Eyecare Providers willing to help area residents.

The NJ CURE Pilot program is designed to “correct uncorrected refractive error”, in other words to correct poor vision, and to assist those financially indigent people who otherwise could not afford to get quality eye care. This “grass root” effort will also help to reestablish a local Lions Clubs visibility in the community while assisting needy people to secure the “Gift of Sight”.  According to President Alan Brewer, “Lions will now have access to their own statewide vision program which is designed to help Lions Clubs assist people in their local communities.”  Read more here

NJ Governor Issue Proclamation May Eyeglass Recycling Month

April 2, 2013

NJ Governor Issue Proclamation May Eyeglass Recycling Month

NJ Eyeglass Recycling Month Proclamation

Julian Daum’s Eagle Project “Eyeglass, Sunglass and Hearing Aid Recycling”

March 31, 2013

Julian_Daum_Eagle_ProjectJulian Daum completed an Eagle Scout project entitled:  Eyeglasses, Sunglasses and Hearing Aid Recycling.  His efforts resulted in 582 eyeglasses & sunglasses, 24 hearing aids & 20 hearing aid batteries being collected.   To read more about Julian’s Eagle Scout project and see other images click here.

Atlantic City Bangladesh American Lions Club

February 11, 2013

Bangladesh American Lions

December 20, 2012

The Atlantic City Bangladesh American Lions Club arrived at NJ Lions Eyeglass Recycling Center
to take delivery of 12,400 pair (2 Pallets) of recycled eyeglasses which were shipped to
District 315 B4 in Bangladesh for free distribution.  Lion Saiful Islam presented a donation
check for $500.00 at the time of the visit.

Waterford Regional Lions Club (District 23C) Connecticut collect 2250 pair of eyeglasses (May 2012)

July 20, 2012

Waterford Regional Lions Club (District 23C), Connecticut colleced 2,250 pair or eyeglasses recently and contributed these to the NJLERC.

Thomas Caiazza Boy Scout Troop 139 Howard Beach, New York receives Eagle Scout for NJLERC Project (January 2012)

July 20, 2012

Thomas Caiazza and Boy Scout Troop 139  Howard Beach, NY

At the age of 15 and a sophomore at the Scholars Academy in Rockaway Park, NY and as a  life scout Thomas Caizza began to plan his Eagle Scout Project  He had to plan, develop, and give leadership to a project that would be helpful to people in his community.  As he researched various topics he discovered the New Jersey Lions Club Eyeglass and Hearing Aid Recycling center.  He thought that collecting used eyeglass and hearing aids would help his community recycle products that would be useful to the needy around the world.   He then began planning his project “Sight and Sound for the Needy.”

Once his project was approved he began contacting local senior centers and churches to schedule collection drives.  He presented his idea to the members of the Rockaway Blvd. Senior Center.  Some of his fellow scouts and he set up a collection station at the Rockaway Blvd. Senior Center.  The members were both gracious and excited that they could help them find new homes for their old eyeglasses and hearing aids.    Two senior centers helped start his project collection with 221 pairs of eyeglasses and 2 pairs of hearing aids.

The second part of his project was to set up collection stations outside local churches during Sunday mass.   Notices were placed in the church bulletins notifying people of the eyeglass and hearing aid collection drive.  Nativity parishioners donated 209 pairs of eyeglasses and 12 pairs of hearing aids.  St Helen parishioners contributed 243 pairs of eyeglasses and 5 pairs of hearing aids.

In total his project was able to collect 672 pairs of eyeglasses and 19 pairs of hearing aids.

In January 2, 2012 he contributed his collection to the New Jersey Lions Club recycling center.