This month, I was able to celebrate World Sight Day in Australia, and I am proud of the sight-saving efforts that Lions continually put forth. But, I am also proud of how much we do in other areas of service. More and more, Lions are becoming known as people who can provide basic assistance in the hours and days following a disaster, as well as relief and rebuilding in the months following.
As we come upon the one year anniversary of a superstormthat hit the United States, that and other disasters like the Japan tsunami and the Haiti earthquake are great examples of Lions’ immediate response, compassion and support at work.
Two weeks ago, Lions responded immediately to a destructive cyclone in India. LCIF awarded a US$100,000 major catastrophe grant to Multiple District 322. Lions will use some of the funds to purchase short term relief items including blankets, food, water, and medical supplies. The remaining financial support will be used for reconstruction efforts within areas that were completely destroyed. To assist with disasters like this, I encourage you to consider making a donation to the Foundation for disaster relief, which is Melvin Jones Fellowship eligible.
In response to another recent tragedy, Lions in Kenya acted quickly when the horrific mall shooting occurred in Nairobi. Within an hour of the attack, Lions were volunteering at the M. P. Shah Hospital, where people who had been injured were provided with medical aid. And Lions’ hard work did not go unnoticed – the President of Kenya visited the hospital and thanked the Lions for their support and being the first to respond.
It would be impossible to list all of the amazing Lions’ disaster relief efforts from around the world – I see examples posted online every day. You are giving people hope following tragedy, and rebuilding communities together through your support, through your use ofLCIF emergency grants and through your contributions to our Foundation. I thank every one of you for your dedication to helping others in times of need.
Wayne A. Madden
Chairperson, Lions Clubs International Foundation
LCIF Grants Awarded
During the October 2013 Board of Directors meeting in Port Douglas, Australia, 51 Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) grants were awarded totaling US$2,443,541. Among many projects, these grants support Lions’ efforts to build playgrounds for children who are disabled; purchase ophthalmological equipment for local hospitals; conduct medical and dental missions; purchase low vision aids; and much more. Lions will touch the lives of an estimated 4.7 million people through these grants, assisting those in need both locally and globally.
Unique Outreach with Lions Quest in Norway
In Norway, the Sandnes Lions and the Sandnes Ulf professional soccer team have partnered to bring Lions Quest and soccer into classrooms. In January 2012, the soccer team agreed to become Lions Quest ambassadors in local schools. Players teach a 60-minute session to fifth graders about bullying, decision making, saying no to drugs, and working to achieve goals.
“It means so much to the students when we visit their school,” said player Bjørnar Holmvik. “It’s great that we have such a good curriculum for them.”
To further promote the program, Sandnes Ulf players wear a Lions Quest Norway logo on the back of their jerseys, a Lions Quest billboard is displayed at the field, and a short Lions Quest video is played on the big screen during a match break. The Sandnes Ulf players have visited more than 10 schools, and they have plans to visit 20 by the end of 2013. You can read more about the Sandnes Lions Quest program in the September issue of LION Magazine. (Photo courtesy of Trond Rekstad)
Donate a Photo
This October, Lions Clubs International has encouraged Lions to “Share the Vision” through a Global Service Action Campaign. In addition, LCIF partner Johnson & Johnson (J&J) launched its #EyePledge campaign, raising awareness of the importance of eye health through the use of photos and social media.
To further the impact of an #EyePledge, participants can use J&J’s free Donate A Photo smart phone app to generate contributions to Sight for Kids, a partner program of LCIF and J&J. For every photo uploaded on behalf of Sight for Kids, J&J will donate $1 to help provide eye exams to children.* Sight for Kids has provided free vision screenings to more than 17 million children since 2002.
*Participants can donate a photo to one cause, once a day through the Donate a Photo app. For every photo donated to Sight for Kids, Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc. will donate US$1 to that cause. You can donate photos to Sight for Kids until November 30, 2013 or until it reaches its goal of US$30,000, whichever comes first. Sight for Kids will receive a minimum of $15,000.
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