Famine Relief Efforts Continue in East Africa

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It’s hard for many of us to relate to the fragile situation of famine victims in East Africa. Millions of people in Kenya, South Sudan, Somalia and other countries live with drastic food shortages despite the efforts of Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) and local Lions who continue to provide aid.

Last month, Lions used disaster relief funds from LCIF to provide food to villages in and around Aweil, South Sudan. Many of the families helped are disabled, female or elderly-headed households and people with disabilities.

This famine began six years ago and the number of vulnerable people keeps increasing, so the work of Lions and LCIF continues. Please consider supporting relief efforts in by making a donation LCIF’s disaster fund. Be sure to note “East Africa Famine” to designate your donations for this disaster.

Donate to LCIF

In the words of Liberian peace activist Leyman Gbowee, “I am what I am, because of who we all are.”


Touchstone Story #82–Piles of Paperwork

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Compiling and accessing vital statistics about Lions wasn’t always as easy as a click of a few buttons. Paper documents by the millions—letters, telegrams, cablegrams, new member applications, officer election results, club supply orders and countless other forms—were the dominant medium for exchanging information for most of Lions’ history.

In the 1920s, reports from clubs circulated among the departments at Lions headquarters in Chicago before being filed away, but that was when clubs numbered in the hundreds. By 1967, there were more than 20,000 clubs spread across the globe. In a special 50th anniversary edition, the LION Magazine reported that incoming mail to International Headquarters in Chicago totaled more than 3.5 million pieces annually, including 240,000 club attendance and activities reports.

The anniversary issue also featured photographs of a recently installed Honeywell mainframe computer whirring away in an air-conditioned room at headquarters. The cabinet-size machine was a big step forward, of course. But it did not stem the avalanche of paper. Dozens of data entry clerks were required to transfer information from club and district reports on paper to punched cards and paper tape. The incoming reports, and copies of any relevant outgoing correspondence, were then filed away in separate folders for each club and district.

As more clubs were founded, more folders were opened. And each folder would gradually swell to capacity. When a club purchased a Lions road sign, for example, three new documents went into the club file: the order form, the shipping record and a copy of the invoice.

The whole system survived into the early 1980s. And somehow it worked. Members got the LION Magazine every month without fail, or perhaps only a month or two later when they moved to a new address. District and club officers received timely bulletins and announcements. International Headquarters produced reliable statistics.

Why go to all that trouble? The numbers demonstrated the scope and impact of Lions’ service mission around the world. They provided vital demographic information for planning Lions’ future, and the records allowed Lions to share the what, who, when, how and why of any service project with other clubs considering similar activities.

As technology improved, Lions around the world and the supporting staff at headquarters would soon get a much needed break from the burdens of paperwork and more time to do what they do best: Serve others.

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!





Lions providing relief to Nepal flood victims

LCIF Awards Disaster Grants, August 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 August 2017, LCIF awarded 18 Emergency Grants totaling US$145,000. These grants are addressing immediate needs in:

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

The Republic of Korea, District 354-F
US$10,000 for flood relief

The Republic of Bangladesh, District 315-B3
US$5,000 for flood relief

MD300 Taiwan, District 300-D2
US$10,000 for typhoon relief

China, District 390
US$10,000 for earthquake relief

MD300 Taiwan, District 300-F
US$10,000 for typhoon relief

India, District 321-B1
US$5,000 for flood relief

India, District 321-C1
US$5,000 for flood relief

China, District 394
US$10,000 for flood relief

India, District 322-E
US$5,000 for flood relief

India, District 322-F
US$5,000 for flood relief

Nepal, District 325-A1
US$10,000 for flood relief

Nepal, District 325-A2
US$10,000 for flood relief

Nepal, District 325-B1
US$10,000 for flood relief

China, District 388
US$10,000 for flood relief

India, District 321-E
US$5,000 for flood relief

India, District 322-E
US$5,000 for flood relief

Sierra Leone, District 403-A2
US$10,000 for mudslide relief

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

Donate to LCIF


Touchstone Story #15–Space for Care

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According to locals, Quito, a city in Ecuador, is la Mitad del Mundo, “the Middle of the World.” Located just a few miles from the equator, it is home to more than 2 million people. Just as it’s possible to stand with one foot in the Northern Hemisphere and the other in the Southern Hemisphere in Ecuador, it’s possible to get a taste of the past (colonial-era cathedrals) and the future (a brand-new subway system).

In 1973, a 100-bed children’s hospital and rehabilitation center were constructed in Quito, sponsored by the Quito (Sixth of December) Lions Club, which raised $20,000 from club members and local businesses. The center was designed with special consideration for children whose parents could not otherwise afford medical treatment. In addition to providing surgical care, the center also offered treatment for polio and birth defects that had been nearly wiped out in other parts of the world. More than that, the center provided classes and instruction in basic reading, writing and mathematics skills to the patients, in some cases the first opportunity for these children to attend such classes.

In addition to offering basic education, the rehabilitation center taught older children how to repair broken appliances. Some youth used this opportunity as vocational training, and others became instructors themselves at the center.

Lions Clubs International sponsors humanitarian missions, first-response disaster relief and vision screenings around the world, but projects like the rehabilitation center in Quito can become a hub for even larger initiatives. In 1947, the Panama City Lions Club in Panama, began raising money for the construction of a children’s hospital, built entirely without government funding. In 1962, a cancer detection center opened in Mumbai, India, inside the Tata Memorial Hospital, sponsored by the Bombay Lions Club. It was the only center of its kind in India.

In 2014, Stella Agbogun, an administrator of the Radiotherapy Department at Lagos University Teaching Hospital in Lagos, Nigeria, and the district 404 B governor, coordinated efforts between the Lagos University Teaching Hospital and the Lions Clubs International Foundation to build Mercy Home, which offers temporary accommodations for patients and their families who have traveled hundreds of miles or more to receive treatment in Lagos and have nowhere else to stay.

Care comes in many forms: prevention and screening, surgery and rehabilitation, a safe and affordable room to sleep in while a loved one receives treatment. Around the world and for a hundred years, Lions Clubs International members have been pioneers of care.

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!





Lions’ Continuous Response to Disaster Relief Efforts

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Dear Lions,

Thank you for your most generous donations to LCIF. Just this year, your donations have enabled LCIF to respond to the disasters from Japan to South Asia to the U.S. Gulf Coast, Mexico and several Caribbean islands.

Earlier this month, Hurricane Harvey devastated the south central coast of Texas and areas of Louisiana. More recently, Hurricane Irma struck Florida and other areas of the Southeast United States, and laid waste to islands in the western Atlantic and Caribbean Sea. Mexico has been rattled by its strongest earthquake in 100 years. Together, LCIF and Lions are supporting relief efforts for all of these disasters.

We have been working directly with Lions in the affected areas to ensure they have what they need to respond in these emergencies, and disaster relief funds have been made available for Lions in all of the affected areas. In turn, Lions are coordinating their efforts with local agencies to determine the greatest need and how Lions can address those needs.

Your donations allow LCIF to respond to disasters at the moment they happen, and ensure we can respond when called upon for future emergencies.

Donate to LCIF

Together, we are making a significant difference.


Chancellor Bob Corlew
Chairman, Lions Clubs International Foundation


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