The Reading Action Program is a relatively new Lions program, but the Glenside Lions Club in Australia has been promoting literacy for decades. The club formed the Glenside Lions Club Bookmart approximately 34 years ago, and since then, the Bookmart has helped the Lions raise nearly $1 million to give back to the community and local charities.
The Bookmart is set up similar to a library. There are more than 30,000 books on display at any one time, from nonfiction topics such as travel and cooking, to classic fiction titles and children’s books. Readers can also find rare and special interest books on the Bookmart shelves. Volunteers (Lions and non-Lions alike) include retired librarians, teachers and community members who love books.
A few years ago, funds from the Bookmart allowed the Glenside Lions to donate a van to the local library. The van is used as a “mobile library,” delivering books to elderly residents who would otherwise have difficulty getting access to library services.
What a wonderful way to encouraging reading in the community while raising money for a good cause! To learn more about the Glenside Lions Club Bookmart, visit their website or follow them on Facebook.
How does your club promote literacy in your community?
Check out how Lions around the world are making headlines by serving their communities.
Has your Lions club been featured in the local news recently? Share your story!
Lions recreational camps for the blind and visually impaired offer children, teens and adults the opportunity to learn and grow in an environment customized to their needs.
The video above features the Allen H. Stewart Lions Camp in Wyoming, USA, where young participants enjoy activities such as woodworking, music, daily living skills, cooking, Braille, robotics, pottery and more. Older campers often come back to work as interns at the camp, serving as mentors and leaders for the younger participants. It’s a positive experience for everyone, and gives kids the chance to experience a summer camp with others who understand their struggles.
How does your club serve children with special needs? Watch the video for a tour of the Allen H. Stewart Lions Camp, and see our list of Lions-supported special needs camps to find one near you. Consider volunteering at a local camp, sponsoring a child to attend a camp, or raising funds to help support a camp.
Lions, is it your dream to expand your reach and make a bigger impact on the community? More members mean more service! In addition to planning and executing projects that address your community’s needs, member recruitment is a big part of Lions service.
The LCI website has a wealth of resources for inviting new members and keeping current members satisfied:
Spread the word about your club! Let friends, family and community members know what it means to be a Lion, and encourage them to get involved.
Here’s a story that proves small town Lions clubs can follow big dreams — and achieve them!
The Lions Club of tiny Whitianga, New Zealand, population 4,000, has already raised over $160,000 since Christmas 2013 toward the purchase of an X-Ray machine for the benefit of the residents of the Mercury Bay area. The total population for the greater Mercury Bay area is around 5,000. The area is so remote that injured people often must travel over an hour by ambulance through winding roads to Thames Hospital, or over two hours to Waikato Hospital just to be examined.
The Club has now raised its fundraising goal to $220,000 to also cover the costs of installation and operation of the greatly needed equipment.
The new equipment will provide immediate X-Ray exams using the latest digital technology, and will allow specialists at Waikato to identify and diagnose what further action is required. This can help prevent many lengthy ambulance trips in the area.
The club has sponsored numerous fundraisers, including a recent fish auction. Local businesses and organizations have joined in sponsoring their own fundraisers including everything from cake sales to Glass Bottom Boat rides, musical Concerts, art fairs, quilting shows, donations of shuttle rides, carpet cleaning, and significant donations from clubs and individuals.
During the weeks since Christmas 2013, the Lions Club of Whitianga have been featured in every issue of the local papers for their community service. This great publicity has generated an interest in a number of local citizens to express interest in joining this successful club.
No matter how big or small your club is or where you are located, you can make a difference. Get the word out about your club’s mission, service projects and events, and get your entire community involved! Use one of our Sample Press Releases to make an announcement through your local newspaper.
The above story includes excerpts from an article by Richard Gordon, a new member of the Whitianga Lions Club. Do you have a story to share? Submit a Photo through the LCI website!
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