Luxottica Group celebrated the official opening of its Port Washington, N.Y. Give the Gift of Sight recycling center. Used prescription eyeglasses and non-prescription, plano sunglasses collected in participating independent optical practitioners offices and stores across North America will be sent to the center for processing. There, Luxottica associates and community volunteers will clean, repair, classify and catalog used eyewear for worldwide distribution. The eyewear recycled at this center will be handdelivered by Luxottica employees on Give the Gift of Sight international missions to developing countries.

Susan Knobler, one of the founders of Give the Gift of Sight, together with Pierre Fay, senior VP of Luxottica and Luxottica’s Debra Del Vecchio led the opening ceremony ribbon cutting (pictured).

“Give the Gift of Sight is the heart of Luxottica Group,” says Faye. “This program gives us a fresh perspective on the way we do business: we’re not just selling eyewear, we are providing people around the world with the basic human right of clear vision. We are delighted that our wholesale partners now have the opportunity to participate in this great philanthropy. It means so much to the success of the program.”

Each year, Give the Gift of Sight volunteers, optometrists and ophthalmologists, in partnership with Lions Clubs International members, perform eye exams and hand-deliver recycled eyewear to underprivileged individuals in developing countries around the world. These twoweek missions, staffed by 25 optometrists and technicians, are each designed to help nearly 30,000 people. Since 1991, Give the Gift of Sight has held over 115 missions to 27 developing countries, helping more than two million people.

“We bring approximately 40,000 pair of recycled eyewear on each International mission,” says Mark Durkan, global operations manager for Give the Gift of Sight. “To successfully complete the 20 missions planned in 2007, we will need to recycle nearly two million pair of used eyewear. This new center at Luxottica Wholesale will be a great addition to helping us fill this need.”

There are two other Give the Gift of Sight Eyewear Recycling Centers—one at the Luxottica manufacturing plant in Agordo, Italy and another at Gift of Sight headquarters in Mason, Ohio.
— Jackie Micucci