1) What Are Reading Glasses?
Reading glasses are magnifiers. They come in different strengths or diopters. 1.25, 1.50, 2.0, up to 3.0. The higher the number of the diopter, the greater the strength. Reading Glasses help people see more clearly to do intricate work, like beading, writing, reading, measuring etc. They are not to be worn all the time. Only when the person needs to see things up close.
2) How Many Reading Glasses Should I Bring?
It depends on where you are going and for how long and who you are going with. It’s best to talk to us beforehand. Most people take twenty pair the first time they go but you can take as many or as few as you’d like. Even one pair makes a difference.
3) How Much Space Do They Take Up?
Thirty pair of glasses fit into a shoebox. Twenty pair take up the same space as a light weight folded sweater.
4) Once I decide how many to bring how do I order them?
Go to the tag on our website that says “GET GLASSES NOW ” or click here. A pack of glasses with varied diopters can be ordered in increments of ten from 10 – 60.
Select how many you would like to buy in our electronic “shopping cart.” You can pay with PayPal or most major credit cards. For orders over 60, or, if you would prefer to order off-line, please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
5) How Much Are They?
$2.00 a pair. They are high-end, spring-hinged and retail for above $15.00. We do not recommend giving away Dollar Store glasses. They won’t last.
6) How Much Lead Time Do I Need To Order?
To be on the safe side please allow five days between the time you order and the time you receive them. We send the glasses Priority Mail and will bill for the shipping.
7) Where Do You Ship?
There are exceptions but we usually only ship within the United States (including Hawaii, Alaska) and Puerto Rico.
8) How Will I Carry Them On My Trip?
Eyeglasses are sent in a sturdy zip handle bag that will fit neatly into your suitcase, pack, or duffle. Pack the bag in between your clothes. The glasses will not break. Included in the bag will be instructions how to give out the glasses (see below paragraph) as well as a letter to customs.
9) How Will I Distribute Eyeglasses?
Once you arrive at your destination, bring the glasses with you as you go exploring. You’ll be targeting artisans, shop keepers, taxi drivers, hotel employees, restaurant workers, tailors, anyone over the age of 35 who does close up work.
When you find a candidate, pull out a pair of glasses and gesture you’d like to give him or her a pair. If there is a translator present so much the better.
Hold something with writing on it 14” from the recipient’s eyes and ask him or her to try on a strength (any strength) as a base to see if the writing is sharp. Go up a strength and then down a strength until the person decides which diopter is right. People can tell for themselves when they have the right pair. And that’s all there is to it!
Take a picture of the person with his or her new pair of glasses. Show them the picture on your LED screen. It usually causes a laugh. Finally, remind the person reading glasses are only to be worn for up-close work. They are not to be worn all the time.
10) Any other tips?
You’ll get the hang of it in five minutes. It is very easy. Just remember the older the person is the higher the diopter. If somebody is 40, start with the 1.25. If they are 50, start with the 2.0.
11) Is There Anything You Shouldn’t Do?
Sometimes you will happen on someone who clearly needs more attention than a pair of reading glasses. None of our magnifiers will work or their eyes don’t look well and can’t focus. Gently tell the person that it would be best if they went to the hospital and had their eyes fixed by a special doctor.
You must never give the glasses to someone you think will distribute them, no matter how reputable they seem. You have agreed to give out the glasses one at a time, personally supervising their distribution. This guards against graft and it is essential to RGP’s mission.
12) What If I Don’t Hand Out All I Carry?
We ask travelers to bring back any glasses they don’t distribute. Keep them for you next trip or return them to Reading Glass Project. We give them to the homeless here in the United States and to Literacy Programs. Again, graft is a huge problem and it interferes with getting reading glasses to people who can’t afford them but who need them.
13)What If I Am On A Tour will it be OK to give them out?
All tours allow you to experience days or parts of days on your own. This will likely be the best opportunity for you to distribute what you carry. Tour directors will be happy to send you in a direction where locals likely need glasses, usually to artisans and craftspeople.
14) What If I Am Traveling By Myself?
For independent travelers, ask the receptionist at your hotel where to go. She will be happy to help direct you. She may suggest you hire someone for a nominal fee as a translator. Make sure you settle the price up front.
Enjoy! I am delighted you’ve agreed to be part of this amazing project.Thank you many times over for your kindness.