WSU Vision Clinic opens eyeglass frame donation program

Donated eyeglass frames
Each pair of donated frames are sanitized and repaired, if necessary, before being made available to students.

The Vision Clinic at Cougar Health Services on the Pullman campus has started a new eyeglass frame donation program and everyone — students, faculty, staff, and community members — can donate. What is old becomes new again.

The program is designed to defray some of the costs for students who need new glasses but can’t afford them. Denise Robertson, manager of the Vision Clinic and licensed dispensing optician, said rising prices for food, gas, and other living expenses have made some students hesitant to purchase new glasses due to the cost.

“We’ve noticed more students want to keep their old frames when they update their lenses, which is fine if they are in good shape,” Robertson said. “But often their frames are broken.”

A frame donation drop box.
Frame donation drop boxes can be found in five convenient locations on the Pullman campus.

Students who are unable to purchase new frames can choose one from among the donated frames for free, only paying for lenses if necessary. Any enrolled student at WSU Pullman is eligible to receive one free frame each academic year.

Students are not required to use services at the Vision Clinic to receive frames, but staff are available to help them with lenses and give them an eye exam if they choose.

Drop boxes have been placed at convenient locations around the Pullman campus:

  • Washington Building, in the Cougar Health Services medical clinic patient waiting area
  • Compton Union Building (CUB), inside the west entrance near Gesa Credit Union
  • Lighty Student Services Building, office 360 next to the food pantry donation box
  • Student Recreation Center, inside the main entrance near the information desk
  • SPARK, inside the west entrance facing the Education Addition building

For people who want to donate eyeglass frames, including sunglasses, but fear they may not be in good enough shape, Robertson encourages them to put them in a drop box anyway. Vision clinic staff will inspect and sanitize each frame and make any necessary repairs.

Seeing a difference in service

A student recently came in requesting lenses to be moved from one eyeglass frame to another, in even worse condition, Robertson shared.

“I told her about the donation program, and she was super excited to be able to get frames that are in good condition,” Robertson said. “And she found a style she really liked.”

The Vision Clinic opened at Cougar Health Services in 2016 and is staffed by an optometric physician, two opticians, and an ophthalmic technician. Robertson said her clinic, and the eyeglass frame donation program, play a critical role in making sure all WSU students have access to good vision care. View a full list of vision clinic services available to Pullman students.

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