The Canberra Lions in Australia are turning tourism into a way to help kids at risk. They have funded the Westwood Lodge, a new 70 bed hostel that provides accommodations for school, sports and community groups visiting Canberra. Revenue from the hostel will go back to kids in the community, helping to finance Lions programs for young people at risk.
Today’s Lions success story was sent to us through the Submit a Photo page on the LCI website. Do you have a story to share? Let Lions everywhere know how your club is making an impact in your community!
A special thanks to the cast of Second City in Chicago for helping us put together this fun video, which we hope can spread the word about Lions clubs, motivate Lions to invite new members and embrace new ideas, and encourage everyone to eat more pancakes (and waffles!). Be sure to share the video with your club, friends and family!
Pancake breakfasts are a big part of Lions culture and tradition — not only because pancakes are delicious, but because they also help bring the community together while raising funds for a good cause.
For the Lubbock Lions Club in Texas, USA, pancakes help feed the community beyond breakfast. The 2009 Guinness World Record holders for the most pancakes served in a 8 hour period, the Lubbock Lions just held their 61st annual Pancake Festival in 2014. Each year, they donate US$150,000 to local charities, the majority of which is raised from tickets sold to the Pancake Festival. The 2014 festival raised $100,000!
To date, the Lions have contributed $1,600,000 to local charities, including the American Cancer Society – Hope Lodge, the American Red Cross South Plains, Goodwill Industries, Habitat for Humanity, Hospice of Lubbock, Lubbock Meals on Wheels, Salvation Army, National Kidney Foundation, Texas Lions Camp, Outstanding Youth Scholarships, Ronald McDonald House, Special Olympics and more.
Daniel Castro, president of the Lubbock Lions, says the event is a “community staple” — bringing together volunteers from Texas Tech, the local police force and other local organizations that help make the breakfast a success. It’s an event that the entire community looks forward to each year, and it’s become so big that it’s now the only pancake breakfast in town. This past year was the first time the Lions served hot, crispy bacon alongside the mountains of pancakes and syrup. Maybe next year, waffles? Maybe.
Learn more about Lions pancake breakfast history and successes in the April 2011 LION Magazine.
The Message in a Bottle program organized by Lions in Ireland helps people receive the special care they need during an emergency. Community members participating in the program fill out a form with their personal information and family contacts, then place the vital info in a small bottle in the fridge. Stickers are placed throughout the home to let first responders know about the program in the event of an emergency.
The above video is a segment from the April Lions Quarterly detailing the success of the program. Watch to learn how Lions in Ireland are helping save lives!
Today’s featured photos are from the members of the Vinton Lions Club in Iowa, USA, who were thrilled with the success of their recent scrap metal collection project. The community came together and helped Lions collect enough scrap metal to fill two semitrailers!
Funds received after sending the metal to a local commercial crusher goes directly back to the community through Lions service projects. The collection is also a great way to clean up the environment and recycle.
Do you have a Lions success story to share? Tell us about your project in the comments section, or submit a photo on the LCI website!
The Reading Action Program began in 2012 and became a 10-year commitment to increasing literacy rates around the world. Lions everywhere participate by donating books to local schools and libraries, reading to children, starting programs that encourage parents to read with their kids, and more. Thank you to Past District Governor Beverly Nichols of District 17-O in Kansas, USA, for sharing the information for today’s post on her district’s Reading Action Program book distribution efforts and results!
When Lions Clubs International announced the partnership with Scholastic, Inc. at the USA/Canada Lions Leadership Forum in Kansas last year, the Lions of District 17-O in northeast Kansas were delighted to be the recipients of a US$5,000 seed grant from LCIF for a Reading Action Program initiative in their district. The money was to go toward high quality books purchased at a reduced price from Scholastic.
In addition to providing books for children, the district’s Reading Action Program would help determine what kind of distribution process would be most effective.
Lions identified several venues for distributing books:
When selecting sites, the Lions looked for areas with high incidence of low income and a nearby Lions club that would support efforts, both through contributing additional funds and by providing a Lions’ presence at distribution events. Schools selected represented rural, urban and suburban locations.
The original grant of $5,000 was increased by almost 50% through contributions from local Lions Clubs, through district fund raisers, and from the Kansas Host Committee of the USA/Canada Lions Leadership Forum. With these funds, a total of 3,779 books were purchased and distributed.
Determining the most effective distribution process raised the question of just what is meant by “effective.” Is it providing the greatest impact on a single child? Or is it providing books to as many individual children as possible? Is it creating as much publicity as possible for the work of Lions in a given community?
All of these are worthwhile goals. However, nothing can match the excitement that is generated when a child is able to pick a book for his or her very own. Ultimately, it makes no difference if it is one book or several, in a school setting or after a vision screening.
The greatest impact on a single child occurred in a small school setting. The same dollar amount, when allocated to a small school and a larger one, means that children in the smaller school may receive multiple books rather than just one book per child. In smaller communities, local newspapers are likely to run stories and pictures about the event, and word of mouth is very effective in small towns.
The best venue for reaching the maximum number of children while building community recognition probably came in conjunction with vision screening. Each child gets a single book, but there may be more than one book given to a single household. Single copies of bargain books can be purchased from Scholastic at just a dollar each. This enables the purchase of many more books than books purchased in a collection. Collections provide a variety of books and are preferred by school personnel, as books can be selected to fit reading levels of students within a given class.
No matter which venue was used during book distributions in northeast Kansas, students receiving the books were excited to receive them. Lions involved in the process took great delight in seeing the reaction of students on the receiving end.
Learn more about the Reading Action Program. How does your club address literacy in your community?
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