PASS IT ON: Local collections underway to pass eclipse glasses forward

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Since the recent solar eclipse wowed viewers in the path of totality in the United States, efforts have been underway to collect and send eclipse glasses to South America, where another total eclipse will be visible. On April 8, eclipse watchers enjoyed the rare celestial phenomenon at Depot Park in Greenfield.

Tom Russo | Daily Reporter

HANCOCK COUNTY — Still have those eclipse glasses sitting around the house?

Put them to good use by donating them to one of the many local organizations which are passing on the glasses to be shipped to South America, where a total solar eclipse will be visible Oct. 2.

The nationwide collection drive will not only enable South Americans to view the eclipse but will potentially give millions of eclipse glasses a new lease on life rather than being tossed into the trash.

Jenny Humerickhouse, an employee at Cynthia’s Hallmark in Greenfield, said about a thousand glasses have been collected so far in a collection bin in the store’s foyer.

“We wanted to give people the chance to recycle them, not just pitch them,” she said.

The Hallmark shop is collecting new and used eclipse glasses through April 30 during regular business hours.

Multiple organizations are running mass collection drives throughout the country, including Eclipse Glasses USA, a company which claims to have initiated the nationwide recycling effort for future eclipse events in other parts of the world.

According to a press release, its eclipse glass recycling program “is designed to ensure that as many people as possible, especially school children in countries with limited resources, can safely experience the wonder of a solar eclipse.”

Only glasses in good condition will be accepted. Glasses with scratched lenses can let through harmful UV rays which can cause serious vision problems.

“By redistributing these glasses, Eclipse Glasses USA hopes to provide educational institutions with the tools they need to offer their students a safe and enlightening eclipse viewing experience,” according to the release.

“By doing so, we aim to foster a love for astronomy and science among young minds, while also promoting safe viewing practices.”

Hundreds if not thousands of pairs of glasses have already been donated at various locations throughout Hancock County.

The Greenfield-Central School Foundation sent its collection to Cynthia’s Hallmark, and the Greenfield Parks Department plans to do the same.

“The eclipse glasses we used in Greenfield came from the Astronomical League and are the approved type to use to view an eclipse,” said parks assistant director Julie Patterson. “They sure worked well for us, and I know the people who will view the eclipse in South America will be grateful for the quality.”

Glasses are also being collected at Shirley Town Hall, where officials plan to send them to the Fishers Police Department to be shipped to Mexico.

Kat Goodman Badger of Greenfield has already collected more than 800 pairs of eclipse glasses for her husband, who is going on a mission trip this summer to Brazil.

Eclipse USA plans to continue collecting and redistributing eclipse glasses for future total solar eclipse events, like the one that will be visible from parts of Antarctica on Feb. 17, 2026.

“In the vast expanse of our universe, few celestial events capture the human imagination quite like a solar eclipse. It’s a moment when the sun, moon, and earth align in perfect harmony, casting a shadow that momentarily turns day into night. For many, witnessing this natural phenomenon is a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” the company shared.