Utah program takes used solar eclipse glasses from around nation to donate

Apr 8, 2024, 11:06 PM | Updated: 11:09 pm

PROVO The fun and excitement of the solar eclipse may now be fading, but one Provo business explains its now marking the start of a huge project for them.

They’re collecting used eclipse glasses, for a program that is putting them front and center around the nation.

Utahns who didn’t stick around in the Beehive State hunted for the best totality viewing spots, leading them to places like Danville, Arkansas.

“My son, 17 years old, said, ‘Let’s go to the solar eclipse,'” said Scott Hansen, who lives in the town of Elwood in Box Elder County.

He said he missed out on the eclipse in 2017, with totality just a hop, skip, and a jump from him at the time.

This time the zone of totality was quite a bit further, but a trek he and his family were willing to make.

“We started looking, where is it going to be clear, a good chance of it,” he said.

John Cope, another Utahn who found himself in Arkansas Monday, said the same thing.

“We drove all night to get here, so that was far enough,” he said.

As they and our own KSL team joined in on the eclipse-chasing, Roger Sarkis spent his day tracking a different phenomenon in Provo.

It was one he never saw coming.

“This is way more than I thought we’d ever get,” he said, looking at hundreds of emails in his inbox on his laptop.

The UVU earth science educator’s side business, Eclipse Glasses USA, runs a program to donate used certified eclipse glasses. Apparently, it went viral on social media in the last few days, leading to more than a thousand emails flooding his inbox on Monday, alone.

Provo family projected to sell half a million glasses for total solar eclipse

“We’re already pushing an estimated 10,000 pairs offered to us already,” he said.

Sarkis said the National Park Service, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Mastercard, universities, hospitals, and large U.S. cities including St. Louis reached out to ask about donating thousands of eclipse glasses no longer needed.

“‘We don’t want to throw these away, we want to do something with them,'” Sarkis said, of what everyone is expressing in their emails. “Which is really a cool thing to see.”

He plans to ship thousands of glasses to schools in Hawaii and Latin America in the next eclipse path in October. Sarkis said he reached out to the Hawaii Department of Education and plans to work with Astronomers Without Borders.

Sarkis explained that they focus on underserved communities and students, specifically Title I schools.

“As a teacher myself, my ethos is that I want students and adults everybody to have the opportunity to look at this really amazing event,” he said.

Sarkis noted that they only take certified glasses manufactured in the United States. That means the eclipse glasses cannot be made in China and need to include the American-based manufacturer business and address on the inside. There should also be an ISO logo stamped on the edge of the glasses.

As he goes through every email, replying with information on donating, Sarkis hopes to pass on the passion for the rare, spectacular, celestial sight.

“We all gathered to watch this eclipse for like this human moment,” Sarkis said, adding, “And now people are kind of gathering again to try and help these students.”

To learn more about how to donate used, certified eclipse glasses, click here.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

A yearling bull moose was found in a neighborhood in the foothills of Ogden. (Courtesy: Crey Maxey)...

Carlysle Price

Moose found on homeowner’s porch, what to do if this happens to you

A yearling bull moose was found on a homeowner's front porch Thursday and was safely relocated by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.

1 hour ago

The male driver of a silver sedan who police believe had their car stolen by the man accused of kil...

Michael Houck

Police search for witness of the driver accused of killing a Santaquin officer

Police are looking for a man whose car was attempted to be stolen at a gas station by the man accused of killing Sgt. Bill Hooser.

1 hour ago

The Audi after it was hit by an SUV on May 12....

Carlysle Price

Man facing six charges after car accident that injured two

A man was charged Thursday in connection to a car accident on May 12 that injured two.

2 hours ago

A basketball hoop at the Adaptive Arena in Bluffdale, which is a gym made for kids with some disabi...

Alex Cabrero

Get In The Games: Adaptive Arena welcomes kids with disabilities to play sports

A new gym is welcoming kids with a disability to play sports that are specifically designed for their needs.

3 hours ago

stacked boxes in a warehouse...

Shelby Lofton

Brazilian women living in Utah need help transporting donations to Florida

Two Utah women who have gathered three warehouses full of donations for Brazil flooding victims are in need of help.

3 hours ago

The Logan Canyon, a year after the major spring runoff that hit the state...

Mike Anderson

Some campgrounds set to reopen for Memorial Day weekend, others still recovering from record runoff

Many campground operators are making the finishing touches before opening for the Memorial Day weekend.

3 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 Internet Safety Tips for Kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Utah program takes used solar eclipse glasses from around nation to donate