The above Public Service Announcement shows how Lions all over the world respond during emergencies and disasters. Providing food, clean water, clothing, rebuilding schools and homes are just a few of the many ways Lions provide immediate and long-term relief following tragedies such as earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes and more. Download the PSA from our website and share it at your next club meeting or service event!
Make a difference! Find a club near you.
Today’s post is written by 2nd VDGe Lion Mike Kerek of the Reynoldsburg Lions. Learn more about baby Rodrigue, his illness and how you can help by following his family’s Facebook page.
I received an email from our MDS on May 7, 2015, who had received it from a Lion half a world away. Her message to the other elected district officers and myself was, “Not sure what to do with this, but it could be a good zone project”:
I’m Yannick Bonnefond, President of the Lions Club Reunion Sud France Australe located in Reunion Island (Indian Ocean). Here, we are close to the family of 7-month-old Rodrigue, who has a serious genetic illness called Werdnig Hoffman (Amyotrophie spinale).
The Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, USA, has selected Rodrigue to test a new experimental treatment. His parents, Jean-Francois and Cecile Cadet, and Rodrigue will fly from Reunion Island in 10 days and are expected in Columbus on May the 10th. They don’t know anybody there.
Can you tell me if you know somebody in your Lions club who might help them? They will be certainly lost and far from friends and family.
Thank you very much for your response and your help to this family.
Best regards from Saint Pierre in Reunion Island
President 2014 – 2015
By this point there were only three days before the Cadet family was to arrive, and we had no information at all to work with except this sole email.
Through email and later Facebook, Yannick and I were able to work together and obtain the flights, times and needs of the family with a couple of hours to spare before they were due to arrive. District 13-F DGe Lion Ben Cosgray and his wife (Plain City), PDG John Fischer (Columbus Southern Pines), French-speaking Lions Vanne Ganziami, Lavie Koubaka, and Rennes Adiwenyaga from Reynoldsburg, along with myself, were all on hand to greet the travel-weary family with smiles, gifts and a warm welcome. We were able to get them to the hotel and settle in with contact information that let them know they had a support system here in the United States. Jean-Francoise and Cecile are not Lions, and were amazed at the response their friends in Reunion provoked, simply by reaching out to fellow Lions and asking for help…even to Lions on the other side of the world.
I’ve been a Lion for 16 years, and for the first time I understood the power of 1.4 million Lions. People I have never met and likely never will, unless I am very fortunate, needed assistance and got it because we were all part of the same organization that lives the motto, “We Serve.” I know the same would hold true for me, should I need it.
It’s an amazing knowledge that regardless of where I am in the world, whatever my concern or need may be, there will be a Lion there to help.
Jean-Francoise and I are staying in touch, and he’s keeping me informed. Little Rodrigue has not yet been accepted into the program he needs, but there is still a possibility. I hope and pray that Rodrigue gets the treatments he so desperately needs. I’m just glad that I could be a part of his life, if only fleetingly, and know that I touched his life and his family’s in a positive manner. It’s the only reward I need to reach out the next time.
2nd VDGe Lion Mike Kerek
Lions around the world are known for looking out for their neighbors, and Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) can help you do just that!
The International Assistance Grant (IAG) program enables Lions clubs in developed countries to partner with Lions clubs in lesser-developed regions on projects that make a real difference for communities in need. IAGs fund collaborative projects that provide direct and immediate services to the disadvantaged. In addition, the program supports projects that aid the blind or disabled.
IAGs provide matching funds from US$5,000 to US$30,000, and fund international assistance programs focused on basic health care, education and literacy, clean water and sanitation, rural development and self-sufficiency programs, services for people who are blind and otherwise disabled, and environmental protection. IAGs can also be considered for Lions’ international medical missions and larger-scale Lions’ eyeglass recycling centers that have a demonstrable impact on serving Lions in developing countries.
If your club or district is considering an international humanitarian project, learn How to Apply for an LCIF International Assistance Grant.
Then submit your International Assistance Grant Application. Remember, IAG applications requesting up to US$10,000 are reviewed internally and may be submitted throughout the year. Applications seeking between US$10,001 and US$30,000 are reviewed three times a year by the LCIF Board of Trustees. Applications are due by July 31, 2015, for review at the October 2015 Board meeting.
Contact the LCIF Humanitarian Programs department at LCIFHumanitarianPrograms@lionsclubs.org for more information.
“Lions Club is a voluntary service organization that does not expect something in return, and its strength will increase with every single person. That’s why I wanted to join this community,” said Nazan Sagir, Head of District 118-T Environmental Awareness Committee and member of the Samanyolu Lions Club in Turkey.
The Environmental Awareness Committee of District 118-T prepared a children’s book with the belief that environmental awareness should be developed during the early stages of childhood. “Multiple clubs from District 118-T, members from our community, teachers from the elementary schools, and my family gave their support to this project,” says Nazan.
The book has been distributed to 6,000 children since the beginning of this year. Their goal is to reach a total of at least 10,000.
How is your club improving environmental awareness in children? Share your story!
In the June LION Magazine, check out some service projects as varied and interesting as the clubs that perform them. Also, take a look at how Lions service has enriched the lives of others worldwide. You’ll also find out:
In the digital Lion, watch a special report about the 27th annual Lions International Peace Poster Contest; read a 1932 retrospective about how a club in Montana unified a community; see a Braille cookbook published in 1960.
Visit the LION Magazine page to contact editors, view past issues and listen to audio versions of the magazine.
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