World Immunization Week began Sunday. Alongside Gavi, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) and other Lions partners, Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) is working to close the immunization gap.
Closing the gap means families know where and when to go for immunization, there are enough health workers, local leaders support health workers, and political leaders provide enough funding and support needed to pay for vaccines, health worker salaries and transportation.
It breaks my heart to know that 400 people still die every day from this disease. Measles is highly contagious and can cause blindness, deafness and other complications. We can prevent this with a simple, cost-effective vaccine.
World Immunization Week is an opportunity for us to raise awareness of measles and the importance of vaccinations. Lions around the world are hosting events all week to show their commitment to the One Shot, One Life: Lions Measles Initiative.
Tune in all week to our blog, Facebook page and Twitter page for interesting statistics and information about immunization efforts around the world. Be sure to tag us in your own social media posts to let us know about your clubs’ activities, and search #vaccineswork to get in on the conversation. Thank you for your dedication to eliminating measles!
Together in Service,
Chairperson, Lions Clubs International Foundation
Read the rest of the LCIF newsletter here.
Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) is proud to participate in World Immunization Week, April 24-30, 2016!
Every day, Lions are mounting social mobilization campaigns, talking to parents and community leaders, and helping to save the lives of countless children from measles. Watch this encouraging message from Bill Gates, Co-Chair and Trustee of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Then consider making a donation to LCIF today so this important work can continue.
Together, we can close the immunization gap!
April is Leo Club Awareness Month! To celebrate and recognize Leo clubs, the Lions Blog will feature stories about Leo service projects around the world. Today’s story features the Emek Leo Club in Turkey. This Omega Leo Club was chartered in October 2010 and is sponsored by Ankara Emek Lions Club.
In 2013, the Emek Leo Club began a service activity called “Renkli Duvarlar” or “Colorful Walls.” Each year, Leos reach out to preschools and primary schools in low-income communities and offer to paint and design colorful artwork in the school’s corridors.
Leo club members decorate empty walls with colorful comic characters with the hope of motivating school children and providing a fun, inviting atmosphere for learning.
“The returns of the activity have been very positive as children who see the colorful paintings on the wall are surprised and become extremely happy. Actually, other Leo clubs can easily organize a similar project in their communities. Firstly, they need to find a primary school in need, and then all they need is some painting stuff like brushes and various color of paint.”
The Leo Club Program gives young people the opportunity to serve their communities, develop leadership skills, make new friends and have fun! Learn more about the Leo Club Program and find out how to start a Leo club in your community.
Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) recently awarded a US$150,000 Major Catastrophe grant for immediate and long-term relief and reconstruction work following the earthquake in Ecuador. Lions are working diligently to distribute food, clean drinking water, blankets and clothing to the people who need them most. They are fundraising locally and collecting and handing out relief materials as quickly as possible.
LCIF’s mission is “To support the efforts of Lions clubs and partners in serving communities locally and globally, giving hope and impacting lives through humanitarian service projects and grants.” Major catastrophe grants, like this one in Ecuador, are just one example of how LCIF supports Lions. And the work that Lions are doing within the impacted communities is a shining example what it means to serve.
Remember, it is only through the generosity of Lions that LCIF can offer disaster relief grants like this. Please consider making a donation so that Lions and LCIF can continue to provide this much-needed assistance.
Having fun while doing good has been a Lions specialty from the beginning.
In the early 1920s, many U.S. clubs had pep committees charged with enlivening routine club meetings. Lions soon entrusted the merrymaking function to a single energetic and enthusiastic officer, known as the Tail Twister.
Students of Tail-Twisting lore will find rich veins of anecdote and remembrance among longtime Lions and also in Lions publications.
How did the name Tail Twister come about? The World’s Biggest Doers, a 1949 history of the Lions, described this origin story, as recounted by Lions founder Melvin Jones:
“One Sunday afternoon three or four of us were discussing this matter of putting pep into the meetings. One fellow who had been born on a farm said we needed to do what used to be done on the farm. When a cow refused to go through the gate, someone would grab her by the tail and twist. We all laughed, but one of the boys said, ‘Why isn’t that a good name–tail twister?’”
The fact that lions–real lions–also have tails gave the name another amusing twist.
Now optional for all Lions clubs, the role of Tail Twister had been an established office under charter bylaws for decades. But as a 1941 article in LION Magazine made clear: “Of all the officers in the club, he [the Tail Twister] has no rigid code, no well-defined plan of action. He must be a Lion of originality.”
Indeed, Tail Twisters have been remarkably creative in promoting fun and fellowship and boosting club treasuries by “twisting” small fines from members for minor breaches of club rules, such as not wearing a nametag or talking during a guest speaker’s presentation.
The fines system is both autocratic and democratic. No member can appeal a Tail Twister’s levy, and no member is above paying it.
“President Westfall Fined on Southern Trip,” ran a banner headline over a full-page story in the April 1927 issue of LION Magazine. While visiting the Columbia Lions Club in South Carolina, USA, International President William Westfall forgot his Lions pin when changing “from his train clothes to his speaking clothes.” An alert Tail Twister named Goldschmidt spotted Westfall’s bare lapels and fined him 10 cents, the going rate for such infractions in the 1920s.
Contests, quizzes, brainteasers, jokes, lighthearted songs and poems are time-tested tools of the tail-twisting trade. Today’s practitioners can find and share fresh material on several club websites and on a Tail Twister page on Facebook.
Concepts of humor do not always transfer across different cultures and times, and that has led to a gradual decline in the tail-twisting tradition as Lions have expanded around the world. But every day in countless other ways—from pancake breakfasts to picnics with needy kids to big parades at convention time—Lions still know how to have fun.
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