#LDUN Spotlight on Lion Debbie Cantrell

On March 12, 2016, Lions, United Nations diplomats and other key representatives will join at UN headquarters in New York City to discuss targeted humanitarian challenges during the 38th Annual Lions Day with the United Nations (LDUN). This year’s theme is “Gender Equality and Peace.”

Debbie Cantrell of Lebanon, Mo., is a member of the Lebanon Host Lions Club and has been a Lion for more than 10 years. She will be speaking at LDUN’s round table discussion regarding gender equality and empowerment of women and girls. Read her story below.

Debbie Whittlesey

For 22 years I was a battered spouse. Pain and I knew each other very well. A women’s shelter in town helped me get protection and escape my situation. After that, I wanted to find a civic club so I could give back to my community and help others who were hurting. I saw a flier from the Lebanon Host Lions and noticed they supported the very shelter that had assisted me. I knew this civic organization was the one for me.

I have changed drastically since I became a Lion; probably even more so since the Joplin, Mo., tornado and working with Lions everywhere.  I used to have low self-esteem, unable to look people in the eye and was battered and bruised. Since becoming a Lion, I have been trained to lead, to be confident and take pride in the organization I serve.  In the days following the disaster in Joplin, I couldn’t stay away. I was simply amazed and astounded at the number of phone calls and e-mails from Lions across America — literally hundreds as soon as the tornado hit. Lions from many states sent much needed money to help in the immediate relief efforts. Also, Lions came to Joplin from across the nation just to work and to serve beside us.

There is still time to register for LDUN to hear Debbie and other key representatives speak about Gender Equality and Peace. Click below to learn more and register.


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