Recycling glasses hits close to home

First Posted: 10/16/2013

LUMBERTON — Christin Oliver has seen with her own eyes the need to recycle glasses.

Christin’s brother, Cole, has been wearing glasses since he was 18 months and had his first eye surgery when he was 2. Considered legally blind, he has 20/200 vision, which means he can see at 20 fee what a person with 20/20 vision can see at 200 feet.

Thirteen-year-old Christin began collecting prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses for recycling about a year ago. Recycling eyeglasses is now her personal platform for the Miss North Carolina Outstanding Teen Program.

“I’m happy she is doing it,” Cole said. “It makes me feel good.”

Christin believes she can “change people’s lives, one pair at a time.”

“Collecting the glasses not only helps my brother but other visually impaired people because it helps people who can’t afford glasses,” Christin said.

Christin has collected more than 200 glasses that will be donated to the Lumberton Lions Club, which will then forward them too regional Lions Club Eyeglass Recycling Centers.

According to The World Health Organization, 153 million people have uncorrected eyesight problems. Most of these vision impairments are quickly diagnosed and easy to treat with corrective lenses, but millions of people still are pushed into poverty simply because they don’t have glasses.

According to the International Lions Club, it costs less than 8 cents to provide a pair of recycled eyeglasses to someone in need.

For people who want to recycle their old glasses, Christin has boxes placed at the following Lumberton locations — First Baptist Church on Walnut Street in Lumberton, West Lumberton Baptist Church on West Fifth Street, City Dry Cleaners on Pine Street, Biggs Park Mall on Elm Street and Oliver’s Oil Company on East Fifth Street.

Cole said when he gets his new glasses next week, he is going to recycle his old pair.

Christin’s mom, Scarlett is proud of her daughter.

“Recycling glasses can help a person learn to read, can help a person work and it can even help senior citizens live independently,” Scarlett said.

For information about how to donate glasses, visit