Results of the 2016 Shoe and Eyeglasses Drive
Riverwoods’ residents came through again! Thanks to the generous response of the Riverwoods’ residents, 294 pairs of wearable shoes and 174 pairs of eyeglasses were collected between April 11th and 27th. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) estimates that currently 300,000,000 children worldwide have never owned a pair of shoes. Interestingly per the U.S. Department of the Interior, 300,000,000 is the estimated number of shoes finding their way to American landfills each year. It then takes 30 – 40 years for these shoes to decompose.
What happens to the shoes and eyeglasses which were donated? The shoes collected in Riverwoods were brought to a central gathering site for all of Lake County coordinated by the Solid Waste Agency of Lake County (SWALCO.) SWALCO works with a company called Chicago Textile, which in turn supplies donated shoes to organizations providing the shoes to those in need both domestically and globally.
The eyeglasses were brought to the Deerfield Lions Club which participates in the Recycle for Sight program. From here the eyeglasses will be sent to a Lions Club Eyeglasses Recycling Center where they are cleaned, classified by prescription and inventoried by volunteers. Most of the eyeglasses will be sent to optical missions in developing countries where they will have greatest impact. That pair of eyeglasses found in the back of a drawer no longer being used can change another person’s life.
Thanks to our coordinated efforts in Riverwoods, the Reuse Program for shoes and the Recycle for Sight Program for eyeglasses not only benefit the environment, but lend a hand to people in need.