Feb
14

Touchstone Story #65–Full Moon Baby Day

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More than 500 full moons have risen and set since 1967 when the Galle Lions Club was founded in the old port city on the southwestern tip of Sri Lanka. And over that time, tens of thousands of babies have been born in Galle.

These two cycles of nature may seem unconnected. But for the Galle Lions Club, they are the source of a unique and rich tradition of service.

Every month when there is a full moon, the day is called a poya. These 12 full-moon days of the year have deep significance in Sri Lankan culture. Poya days commemorate key events in the life of the Buddha, including his birth, enlightenment and death. There is also a poya day marking the Buddha’s first visit to the island around 528 B.C.E.

Leap forward 2,500 years to the Lions’ first meeting in Galle in 1967. Barely had the charter been read and the Lions’ flag unfurled when members began asking, “How will we serve?” Lady Lions and members’ spouses had the answer. Celebrate each poya day with gifts to babies born during that particular lunar month.

The women began sewing baby clothes and distributing them at local hospitals to the poor. They collected powdered milk, diapers, and other nursery items for poya day visits with mothers and their newborns.

Today, with men and women now participating as full Lions club members, the project continues to grow—proof that the Lion spirit of service shines everywhere that the moon does.

Explore the exciting history of Lions Clubs International with our exclusive Touchstone Stories series. They’re a great resource for promoting service at your club meetings!

Earthquake damage
Feb
10

LCIF Awards Disaster Grants, January 2018

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Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) offers a variety of funding options to support various stages for disaster relief operations, including Disaster Preparedness, Emergency, Community Recovery and Major Catastrophe Grants.

For districts impacted by a natural disaster including tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, and tsunamis, Emergency Grants provide up to US$10,000. Lions district governors may apply for disaster relief funds to help meet immediate needs such as food, water, clothing and medical supplies. LCIF typically awards more than US$2 million in Emergency Grant funding each year. Community Recovery Grants aid districts interested in supporting short-term cleanup and repair efforts in situations where other organizations have already addressed immediate needs. Lions district governors may submit proposals for community recovery grants.

In January 2018, LCIF awarded 3 Emergency Grants, 2 Disaster Preparedness Grants and 1 Community Recovery Grant totaling US$55,000. These grants are addressing immediate needs in:

Philippines, District 301-A2
US$5,000 for volcano relief

Iowa, USA, District 9-NE
US$10,000 for community relief

Vermont, USA, District 45
US$10,000 for flood relief

Japan, District 336-A
US$10,000 for disaster preparedness

Japan, District 334-D
US$10,000 for disaster preparedness

Peru, District H-2
US$10,000 for earthquake relief

Please consider making a donation to LCIF’s disaster fund today.

Donate to LCIF

Thailand flood victims gathered
Feb
9

LCIF Awards Disaster Grants, December 2017

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Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) offers a variety of funding options to support various stages for disaster relief operations, including Disaster Preparedness, Emergency, Community Recovery and Major Catastrophe Grants.

For districts impacted by a natural disaster including tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, and tsunamis, Emergency Grants provide up to US$10,000. Lions district governors may apply for disaster relief funds to help meet immediate needs such as food, water, clothing and medical supplies. LCIF typically awards more than US$2 million in Emergency Grant funding each year. Community Recovery Grants aid districts interested in supporting short-term cleanup and repair efforts in situations where other organizations have already addressed immediate needs. Lions district governors may submit proposals for community recovery grants.

In December 2017, LCIF awarded 10 Emergency Grants and 1 Community Recovery Grant totaling US$115,000. These grants are addressing immediate needs in:

India, District 324-B4
US$10,000 for cyclone relief

India, District 318-A
US$10,000 for cyclone relief

Indonesia, District 307-B2
US$10,000 for flood relief

Albania, UND
US$10,000 for flood relief

California, District 4-A3
US$10,000 for wildfire relief

Thailand, District 310-B
US$10,000 for flood relief

Brazil, District LC-12
US$10,000 for flood relief

Republic of Sri Lanka, District 306-B1
US$5,000 for cyclone relief

Brazil, District LC-4
US$10,000 for hailstorm relief

Thailand, District 310-D
US$10,000 for flood relief

Argentina, District O-2
$US$20,000 for tornado relief

Please consider making a donation to LCIF’s disaster fund today.

Donate to LCIF

Feb
7

Touchstone Story #84–Special Interest Clubs

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No matter what the circumstance, if there is a need, there is a Lions club to meet that need. A fast-growing alternative to the traditional Lions club model, special interest clubs are attracting new members with shared interests.

In contrast to standard clubs, which draw from a cross section of their communities, special interest clubs bring together Lions with common interests or similar circumstances. Some clubs focus on helping people with diabetes, for example. Others focus on professions, such as educators or law-enforcement workers.

There are clubs for veterans, environmentalists, snowmobile fans, professional women and people with shared ethnic backgrounds. There is a ballroom dancing club in Hawaii. And there are cyber clubs that meet and conduct club business primarily online, with members logging in from around the world.

Lions have been forming special interest clubs for decades. The Benton Bay Athletic Lions Club in Anchorage, Alaska, USA, was chartered in 1984 to support local college and youth sports. The growth of specialty clubs has accelerated in recent years as societal shifts put more demands on peoples’ limited free time. Special interest groups offer a flexible format that lets Lions accommodate today’s volunteers in a way that fits their ever-changing lifestyles.

Just as with any newly formed Lions club, special interest clubs need to be sponsored by an existing club and go through a charter process. Like Lions everywhere, the members get together to perform service projects and help others, but often the projects reflect the specialty club’s area of expertise.

The El Paso Executive Women’s Lions Club in Texas, USA, offers mentoring and computer-skills training to disadvantaged young women.

Similarly, in Middletown, Virginia, USA, a group of elementary teachers, concerned about children missing preschool education, formed the Middletown Children First Lions Club. The club works with 3- to 5-year-olds to help them prepare to be successful in kindergarten. The club’s Little Lions Preschool classes have made a big difference in children’s readiness. Parent Chrissie Sison said her daughter Annalise “enjoyed every minute” of her time at Little Lions and, thanks to the Lions, “Annalise just loves school,” she added.

Explore the exciting history of Lions Clubs International with our exclusive Touchstone Stories series. Don’t forget to share these stories with new members so they gain an understanding of Lions history!

Dec
27

Touchstone Story–Scouting

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In the steadily pouring rain, a tent city near Missoula, Montana, kept its inhabitants mostly dry. Six field kitchens staffed by Army cooks kept them fed, and hospital tents stood ready for any illnesses or injuries.

But this was no army. The inhabitants were not soldiers—they were boys from the ages of 10 to 18, who had gathered to test their skills, make new friends and put on a show.

This was a Boy Scouts Camporee.

The Boy Scouts of America’s mission is to teach boys to become responsible young men. Scout Law states that “a scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.” It only makes sense that so many Scouts have grown up to become Lions.

“Scouts and Lions foster the same ideals,” said David Cox of Bridgewater, Massachusetts. The Bridgewater Lions Club is one of many that have organized traditional pancake breakfasts, served up by local Boy Scout troops.

The Boy Scout Camporee outside of Missoula was held in 1939, but a scene from that rainy day could have taken place at any point over the past century. The Missoula Lions Club was on hand to sponsor the Scouts and support the circus show the Scouts put on as a fundraiser. Some Boy Scouts who become Lions serve as Scoutmasters, taking a direct hand in guiding the next generation of Scouts. By the early 1930s, the Berkeley Lions Club in California was sponsoring the first Boy Scout troop for blind boys. In 1950, three Lions led a troop made up entirely of Scouts who were blind, combining Lions’ long-running commitment to helping people who are visually impaired with their mentorship of Scouts.

The Girl Scouts of the United States of America likewise has a long history of support and cooperation with Lions. From sponsorship to joint fundraising efforts, Girls Scouts and Lions have worked together throughout the past century to “Do a Good Turn Daily,” as the official Girl Scouts slogan states. 

Lions clubs sponsor more scout troops in the United States than any other secular organization. Lions and youth scouting organizations share common goals, so it’s only natural that they’ve forged such a strong bond.

“Scouts learn leadership, but it ends after high school,” said David Cox. “That’s where Lions can step in.”

Explore the exciting history of Lions Clubs International with our exclusive Touchstone Stories series. They’re a great resource for promoting service at your club meetings! 

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