We’re thrilled to be giving away over 250,000 pairs of eclipse viewing glasses to families, organizations, clubs and schools. The glasses are courtesy of the Robert D and Jessie L Stinnett Trust, a privately held memorial trust that supports educational initiatives in memory of Robert D and Jessie L Stinnett of St. Louis, MO. As part of this effort we will also be visiting shopping centers and community groups during the spring and summer of 2017 in Carbondale, IL, St. Louis, MO and Boonville, MO to distribute both glasses as well as other educational materials.
Why are we giving these away?
For many people across the USA this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. This is the first time that so many people across a large part of the country will be able to witness a total solar eclipse. In fact, it’s been over 100 years since a similar event has occurred! This is a great chance for kids, adults, and kids-at-heart to witness an event that really pauses our everyday hectic lives for a few minutes. It’s also a great opportunity for children and adults of all ages to learn more about astronomy, what causes eclipses and hopefully get people more interested in science in general!
However, to totally be able to witness this incredible event you must protect your eyes. It is never safe to look directly at the sun. Serious and permanent eye damage will occur if you do not take precautions and use proper eclipse viewing safety glasses that meet ISO standards. Only during the period of totality, less than 3 minutes, is it safe to look directly at the sun.
NASA provides a wonderful reference page talking about safety during an eclipse that we encourage you to read and share with family and friends. We’ve also put together a resource page for teachers, parents and families with links to educational, safety and science resources.
With all this in mind, we decided to make sure that as many people as possible could enjoy this event without having to worry about finding or paying for glasses. This way we feel everyone, from inner-city school kids to those living on farms in the heartland, can enjoy this event safely!
How do I get eclipse shades for me or my family?
Your family or small group can get up to 4 free pair of solar eclipse viewing glasses per request, 12 pairs total per family or group. If you need more than 12, please see the next section below about larger organizations and schools for information on how to obtain larger quantities free of charge. Please keep in mind that it may take up to 4 weeks to receive due to the high demand, and we encourage you to get your request in early. We have 250,000 pair for distribution, but as the date draws closer for the eclipse we expect these to go very fast.
Option 1: Send us a letter!
All you need to get yours is a few stamps and some envelopes! Here’s what you need to do:
- For up to 4 pair, simple send a SASE (Self-Addressed, Stamped Envelope) with TWO stamps on the return envelope (the one coming back to you). Please use a #10 (business) envelope.
- Each family or group may send up to three requests. You can send all the return envelopes, with postage, in the same envelope.
- Please write on the back of the return envelope how many pair you need (maximum 4 per envelope).
Mail this to:
PO BOX 185
Boonville, MO 65233
Option 2: Just pay for postage!
Due to the number of requests we have received about this, we have developed an option to pay for postage via Paypal. Due to the cost that Paypal charges (up to 33%) we have to add in their fees. We also account for the cost of envelope and mailing labels. Please keep in mind that with this option the glasses are still free, but we do have to charge a little more than the postage to account for the fees that we are being charged by Paypal, as well as the cost of envelopes and mailing supplies.
To use this option, please use the box below. The same rules apply to limits as stated above. You may request 4, 8 or 12 pairs at a time.
How do schools or larger organizations get the viewing glasses?
Public schools, community groups and clubs, non-religious organizations and others who are qualified as 501(c) non-profits by the IRS can get up to 100 pair of eclipse viewing glasses free of charge. We request that you provide your complete organization name, project these will be used for, contact person along with phone number and shipping address. If you have a need for a larger amount please explain how many you need and for what purpose. All postage and mailing costs will be paid for by the Trust.
We encourage you to share this information with your local public schools and other community organizations in your area. All requests, however, must come from that organization themselves.
Send your request to email@example.com with all the above information or any questions you may have. We ask that you please contact us at least 4 weeks before you need to have the glasses in hand. Requests are coming in fast, and we are doing our best to fill them. However, we encourage you to get your request in as early as possible.
Please note that private schools and religious organizations are not eligible due to exclusions set in the Trust.