Earlier this month, I attended the Multiple District 201 Convention in Tamworth, Australia, where more than 1,200 Lions from Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia gathered. One of the ceremonies included the opening of a disaster relief “tool box” — a 20-foot container that will hold in excess of $10,000 worth of tools. The tool box will be based in Tamworth, and will be loaned out to local communities in times of disaster.
When disaster strikes, Lions are prepared to respond immediately! How does your Lions club ensure your community is prepared for natural disasters?
Each year, Past District Governor (District 4-C3) Rene DeLuna and his wife Lion Maggie open up their ranch to over 1,500 families with disabled children for one day. The Special Kids Day in Brentwood, California, USA, gives kids with emotional, developmental and physical disabilities the opportunity to enjoy activities that are catered to their needs.
With over 150 volunteers from 21 Lions clubs, the event brings the entire community together. Local families appreciate the love and support shown by Lions, and Lions get a chance to reach out to children with special needs — giving the kids a day during which they can feel comfortable and have fun. Activities include motorcycle rides, special foods, face painting, dancing, balloons, hay rides and more!
See images from the successful 2014 event on the Brentwood Lions Facebook page.
What kind of unique district-wide events does your Lions club participate in?
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.
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