Q: What is ReSpectacle?

A: ReSpectacle is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that uses the power of the internet to facilitate redistribution of high quality used eyeglasses to underserved individuals & communities worldwide.

Q: How do I obtain glasses?

A: If you are visiting our website from outside the continental USA

If you live in the continental USA, follow these instructions:

  1. Visit the following website:
  2. Click "Browse" then enter your prescription given to you by your eye specialist.
  3. Browse through the selection of glasses that approximate your prescription. Detailed photographs can be seen by clicking on the glasses. Percentile match is listed in the right column, which estimates how closely the glasses match your prescription.
    Note: Numbers in green are the best, indicating the closest match to your prescription.
  4. Pick the pair you like best, which also has a high match percentile.
  5. Once a pair is selected, click on "Get these ReSpectacles!".
  6. Fill out the required information including name and mailing address, then click "Order my ReSpectacles!".
  7. The glasses will be shipped to you in about 7-10 business days. The website offers opportunity to contribute to defray the cost of shipping, however this is not required.

Q: I'm a provider. How do I refer patients to ReSpectacle?

A: Your patient only needs their Sphere/Cyl/Axis values — we'll take care of the rest. You can print and fill out this ReSpectacle-branded eyeglass prescription card for your patient.

Q: Does ReSpectacle perform eye exams?

A: No. ReSpectacle is simply an organized resource of used eyeglasses, we do not perform eye exams or give eyeglass prescriptions. In order to use our website, one must obtain an accurate eyeglass prescription from an eye care provider.

Q: Where can I donate my glasses to ReSpectacle?

A: Current donation bins and mailing information can be found on the Donate page.

Q: Does ReSpectacle accept new or unused contact lenses?

A: No. ReSpectacle does not recycle contacts lenses at this time.

Q: Does ReSpectacle accept loose lenses or broken frames?

A: No. When received, these items will be recycled. We selectively process the very best donations we receive.

Q: Does ReSpectacle accept & process glasses with ground-in prism?

A : No.

Q: Does Respectacle accept used "low vision devices" such as hand-held magnifiers, closed circuit televisions (CCTVs), telescopes, etc?

A: Yes. These devices can be dropped off at any of our collection bins or mailed to us at the address specified on the Donate page.

Q: Are used glasses from ReSpectacle as good as a pair of custom-made glasses?

A: Possibly if you are lucky, however in most circumstances the answer is no. A pair of glasses from ReSpectacle is unlikely to give you the same quality of vision, comfort & style that you can otherwise get with a pair of custom-made glasses fit by a certified optician. ReSpectacle was designed to be used by people who have no other means of getting life-changing vision correction. In most circumstances, however, we would expect a match from ReSpectacle to be better than no glasses at all.

Q: What do the percentages mean in the search Algorithm?

A: The algorithm will search for any ReSpectacle glasses in the range of the prescription entered by the user. Matches closer to 100% will offer the best chance of improving vision. As a general guideline: Green matches: (90% or above) should be selected whenever possible, as they offer the highest likelihood of user satisfaction. Yellow matches: 80-90% are probably going to be better than nothing. Red matches: 70-80% offer the lowest likelihood of improving vision. We would suggest only ordering glasses in this range if done under the guidance of an eye care professional. The algorithm filters out glasses that offer no chance of improving vision based on the prescription entered. Users should recognize that each individual has different sensitivity for refractive error, a 90% match for one individual may be acceptable whereas the same 90% match may not be acceptable to another individual.

Q: How many pairs of ReSpectacles can I order?

A: ReSpectacle limits orders to 3 pairs of glasses per individual, per calendar year. Exceptions are made for eye care providers who order glasses on behalf of their patients (see information on provider registration).

Q: I received my ReSpectacles in the mail, and I do not see clearly with them - what could be wrong?

A: There are many possible reasons why you might not see clearly with your glasses, here are a few possible examples:

  1. You may not have potential to see clearly with glasses due to a problem within the eye(s). Some common examples include cataracts, macular degeneration, dry eye.
  2. Something about the ReSpectacle glasses is not accurate enough for you. You may not tolerate the blur from an imperfect prescription, the optical center of each lens may not be perfect.
  3. A user error may have occurred (you may have entered the glasses prescription incorrectly when ordering the glasses).
  4. The prescription you received from your eye care provider may be inaccurate.
  5. An error could have been made by one of our volunteers are ReSpectacle. (e.g. The glasses may have been incorrectly measured during processing).
Due to the wide variety of potential causes, it is impossible for us to speculate over the internet why your ReSpectacle glasses may not seem acceptable to you. ReSpectacle was not designed to give medical advice, nor do we have the capacity to troubleshoot for you. We allow 3 orders per year per individual, so if you would like to try again with another pair you are welcome to do so. If you continue to have problems you may need to return to your local eye care provider for guidance. Be sure to let them know that you obtained glasses from ReSpectacle, as they may not be familiar with this charitable organization.

Q: The glasses I ordered from ReSpectacle didn’t work for me, what should I do with them?

A: You are under no obligation to return them, however we would encourage you to recycle them by a) dropping them off at a nearby ReSpectacle collection bin, b) mailing them back to us, or c) recycling them at your local optical shop or eye care center.

Q: I am an optometrist/ophthalmologist, why should I register with ReSpectacle?

A: One does not need to register with ReSpectacle in order to use the website. However, registered providers are allowed unlimited numbers of orders per year (instead of maximum 3 per year) and their orders will be allowed to bypass the daily cap on orders from the website. With time we will offer a wider range of advanced features to providers.

Q: Is there a handout with instructions on how to use the website I can print for my patients?

A: Yes, instructions for how to use the website are found on the website above, with a printer-friendly version available here.

Q: Can I get more specific information on a pair of ReSpectacles, for example the interpupillary distance or temple length?

A: Please contact us at if you have a special request on a specific pair of glasses. Depending on availability of personnel at location where glasses are stored, we may be able to accommodate some selected requests.

Q: How much do I have to pay to have a pair of ReSpectacles that are shipped to me?

A: Shipping of glasses is paid for by grant funding and private donations. As long as ReSpectacle continues to have adequate funding, prescription glasses will be free to whomever orders them.

Q: I would like to contribute financially to ReSpectacle, how can I do so?

A: Donations can be made online via our website here, or a check (made out to “ReSpectacle") can mailed to:

C/o Jeffrey Lynch, MD/AEC
1719 Tower Drive
Stillwater, MN 55082

Q: What happens with my financial donation?

A: 100% of donations are used toward the mission of ReSpectacle: To facilitate re-distribution of quality used eyeglasses to underserved communities worldwide. In many cases, as little as two dollars will cover the cost of shipping a pair of glasses to an individual in need. You will receive a charitable contribution receipt for your donation.