Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Donate Your Unused Contact Lenses to MADRE

Several times now I have ended up with a number of unused disposable contact lenses that I wasn't able to wear. In one case I became allergic to the brand, and in another more recent case, my vision changed dramatically after my daughter weaned and the lens prescription began to cause eye strain.

I could have just swept the unused lenses into the garbage without another thought, but I got to thinking about how much I paid for those contact lenses in the first place, and it didn't seem right to just throw them away. Someone somewhere must be able to use them!

I found an organization called MADRE that promotes rights for women worldwide. They accept a number of items for donation, including contact lenses that are at least 6 months away from expiring (they also accept cell phones with chargers, non-prescription medications, sewing supplies, etc.). They then match the contact lenses (or other items) to women around the world who have that need. You can just mail your items to the following address:

Helping Hands Campaign
121 West 27th Street Room 301
New York, NY 10001

If you include a return address, they will send a thank you letter that you can use as a receipt for your donation.

It's a very small thing that can help a woman in need somewhere in the world, and also keep the three Five (I found two more!) extra contact lenses I have on hand from being thrown away before being used. It's the smallest decluttering project I'll ever do, probably, but it meets my goal of finding a useful and needed place for my unwanted stuff.

Check your medicine cabinet and see if you have contacts or other items that could be donated to a good cause!

PS I will also be donating my extra earnings from January to MADRE to help with their Haiti relief efforts, partly as a thank you for taking on the onerous task of collecting and redistributing contact lenses that would otherwise go into a landfill unused. Thanks, MADRE!

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