In just four months, commuters lost more than 3,000 pairs of prescription eyeglasses on King County Metro buses. So what happens to those frames when no one claims them from the lost and found?
“I’m sorry someone left their glasses on our Metro buses, but they’re going to be used, and they’re going to be used well, particularly buy those who cannot afford glasses,” said King County Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer, who helped hand over several boxes of unclaimed glasses to the NW Lions Eyeglass Recycling Center Tuesday.
Lions Club volunteers clean the eyewear, inspect the lenses, check the prescriptions, and then send them to countries like Malawi, the Philippines, Nigeria, and Jamaica. The Lions Club works with non-profits and aid organizations to ship and distribute the glasses.
“I see them preparing missions for places I’ve never heard of,” said Don Schmidt, past president of the recycling center, which is working on its 280th mission.
They’ve sent more than 220,000 pairs of glasses to people in 187 countries since 2004.
The NW Lions Eyeglass Recycling Center, which is in Olympia, says it's received more than two million pairs of glasses, many of them donated in those cardboard drop boxes you see in places like the grocery store.
“We’re the ones that put them in use,” Schmidt said.
Click here for more information on donating eyeglasses.