In 1925, Helen Keller challenged Lions to become “knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness.” And we accepted. Today, service to the blind remains a key service area for Lions around the world.
The Kobe Guide Dog Training Center was established in Hyogo prefecture in 1990, and is operated by the Hyogo Guide Dogs Association. The center, dedicated to providing guide dogs to the blind and visually impaired at no cost, has raised approximately 70 guide dogs. Guide dogs enable visually impaired people to live with increased mobility and independence.
Raising guide dogs is an extensive process that includes selective breeding, professional training, recipient screening, graduation, and placement. Each successful guide dog requires one entire year of preparation, and the equivalent of approximately US$60,000 in formal training, housing, vet care, and specialized placement fees.
Demand for the guide dogs is substantial, and the waiting list is constantly growing. Presently, more than 300,000 blind and visually impaired people live in Japan, but only a fraction of them employ guide dogs. On average, only 30 percent of dogs trained as guide dog companions are deemed suitable and placed with visually impaired individuals. Therefore, for every 10 successful guide dogs, 30 dogs must be raised and trained.
The Kobe Guide Dog Training Center is in need of repairs. With the help of a US$65,000 LCIF Standard Grant, the Lions of District 335-A are supporting building renovations. Lions will work to repair cracked walls and replace the floor, which will include a built-in heating system, as well as other repairs throughout the facility.
Click here to learn more about Lions’ service to the blind and visually impaired.
Today’s guest post was written by Lion Alastair McKechnie from the Gillingham, Mere and Shaftesbury Lions Club in England. Read about how their Santa Float has become a tradition in their community. Not even a broken tractor and missing speakers could stop their dress rehearsal! For more, visit the GMS Lions Facebook page.
The amount of times GMS Lions heard, ‘Now I know it is Christmas, the Lions Santa Float is here’ has been amazing. It reinforces that the GMS Christmas Santa has become a local tradition, it is looked forward to, adds a touch of magic to Christmas and as a by-product makes money that is used to support local needy causes.
“I can really see that this is a fabulous tradition, it raises money that is going to be used on great local causes – over forty local causes were serviced from lions funds last year – and the look and excitement on the faces of children, parents and the elderly as the Lions float went around made those made dashes back from Bristol worthwhile,” expressed Lion Al. “The amount we have raised this year is a fantastic testament to not only the Lions and their volunteers who have given up their time, but more to the generous nature of the wonderful people from Gillingham, Mere and Shaftesbury. Every penny really does count.”
We could not have done it without the determined effort from volunteers, dedicated drivers and Santa. Thank you to everyone who helped out and worked as a team to make this a memorable and fun time.
The Izmir Gündoğdu Lions Kulübü held a fundraiser to assist children with kidney problems who are receiving dialysis. Clothing items, accessories, decorations, food and drinks were some of the items they had for sale at their tables. Their profits went to the children in the dialysis department at the Ege University Children’s Hospital.
Follow the Izmir Gündoğdu Lions on Facebook for more pictures of this event and current activities.
What types of fundraisers does your club participate in?
More than 10 years ago, Lions helped establish the Melvin Jones Health Center near Trujillo, Peru. This 24 hour center sees 300 patients every day for general medicine, pediatrics, emergency care and child birth. On the day of inauguration in 2002, the first baby was born at the center. To show her thanks to the Lions, the mother named the baby Melvin Jones.
When the Trujillo El Porvenir Lions Club decided to find Melvin for the International President’s visit, they found that he was no longer in school. After meeting Melvin and hearing his story, Past International President Barry Palmer knew that the Lions could help make a difference in Melvin’s life.
Take a look at the clip above and see how the Lions helped Melvin with his education and are extending support to all children. You can watch the entire October Lions Quarterly on the Lions News Network
The Muenseling Institute (MI), formerly known as the Institute for the Visually Impaired (NIVI), was established in 1973 to provide education services to visually or physically impaired children through the 12th grade. All students board at the institute in the village of Khaling.
The Lions of District 112-A in Belgium see the benefits of technology for MI students. Partnering with the Lions Club of Druk Thimphu in Bhutan, Belgian Lions raised US$25,000 to purchase and update equipment for the school. With the help of a US$25,000 International Assistance Grant (IAG) from Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF), the Lions have big plans for these students.
The funds are being used to purchase 22 new computers and to install an information communications network in several campus buildings. Lions will also repair two old braille embossers and purchase a new one, as well as other low vision aids and tools for both students and teachers.
For more information on International Assistance grants, visit http://lcif.org/EN/lions-center/grants/international-assistance.php.
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