Lions Clubs International
Mar
30

VOPA and U.S. Lions: Protect Your Club

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Lions organize service activities throughout the U.S. – from park cleanups to 5K races, vision screenings to clothing drives, Lions clubs are vital to their community. As with any event open to family, friends and the public, it’s important to consider the safety of those attending. If someone gets hurt while collecting trash on the beach or carrying boxes to the local food bank, your club may held legally responsible for resulting damages, injuries or legal claims. This is a common occurrence that has forced many clubs to dissolve or file bankruptcy as a result.

With current legislation, your club is at risk of losing its ability to help others.

What Is the Volunteer Organization Protection Act (VOPA)?

If signed into law, the VOPA bill will provide enhanced protection to nonprofit organizations in the United States for harm caused by an individual volunteer in the performance of their service. This would protect U.S. Lions clubs from being drawn into lawsuits should an accident occur during a Lions club service activity or event.

With VOPA protecting your club, you can focus your resources on the needs of your community.

How to Support the VOPA

Contact your Member of Congress! The more representatives co-sponsor the VOPA, the higher the chances of the bill being signed into law and Lions clubs receiving the protection they deserve!

Write, call or visit your U.S. Senator or House Representatives, and urge him or her to support this important bill.

Resources for Supporting the VOPA

Questions? Contact GovermentRelations@lionsclubs.org.

LCIF Foundation
Mar
28

Message from the Chairperson: LCIF Supports Lions’ Compassionate Works

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Dear Lions,

Alongside Lions and our partners, we have made great strides in reducing measles deaths worldwide, but 400 people still die each day from this preventable disease. LCIF and Lions are working hard to reduce that number. To find out more about how Lions are involved in measles work, watch “Lions Take a Stand against Measles.”WithChildrenIndia

When you donate to Lions Measles Initiative, your donation will be doubled by the Gavi Matching Fund, which is financially supported by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This matching program doubles the impact of your gift. Through our joint efforts with Gavi and other partners, we will increase access to quality immunization services at every level to benefit children around the world.

We know that we can eliminate this disease. But we cannot do it alone. Please consider making a donation to LCIF. Remember, it only takes about US$1 to vaccinate a child against measles. Each and every Lion can make a difference in the life of a child.

Together in Service,

Joe Preston
Chairperson, Lions Clubs International Foundation

Read the rest of the March newsletter here

borehole
Mar
28

Lions Provide Water in Kenya

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Today’s post is by Lion Akil Adamjee of the Lions Club of Mombasa Bahari. Visit their website, Facebook page and Twitter.

On Sunday 28th February 2016, Lions Club of Mombasa Bahari opened their SIXTH borehole in Kilifi, Mombasa, Kenya which was fully sponsored by Haider Abdulla & friends from Canada.

At the borehole site we were welcomed by the village children with songs and dance. The community chairman thanked us for our kind gesture of building this borehole in the Zowerani area within Kilifi County, where there is a desperate need of water, and informed us that a total of 9,000 people would benefit from this borehole from the surrounding villages.

He further spoke about their agriculture projects and keeping of livestock which would all benefit from this water supply and make their community more self-sustainable.

borehole2

Some of the hardships they face were also mentioned such as jiggers and bed bugs which are keeping children away from school, and lack of reading materials in their school library.

Our club president Lion Mayuri Patel thanked all the Community elders and children for their warm welcome and also mentioned that the club will look into helping them face their other hardships. Lion President further thanked Mr. Kariuki (contractor) who has helped us locate such sites which are in desperate need of water and Lion Zainul Dar (Club Projects Convener) for organizing these events.

The activity was concluded by presenting the village elders with packets of maize meal and the children were given packets of biscuits and juice.

IMG_9863-crop
Mar
24

Korean Lions Bring Hope to a Village in Cambodia

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The Lions of District 356-F in Korea recently received a US$30,000 Standard grant from Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF). Chung Spean PrimaryIMG_5918

School located in Chung Spean Village in Siem Reap Province, Cambodia, was in critical need of an expansion. The school did not have enough space for its more than 200 students and Lions felt the environment was not conducive for learning.

The Lions constructed a new building which includes an additional classroom and a multi-purpose room. Lions also installed a new water well for clean drinking water. The well provides water not only for the students but for the entire village.

“While we were looking for a meaningful service project, one of the district cabinet members suggested that we need to participate more in worldwide service activities. The idea was approved in the cabinet meeting and a local government official recommended Chung Spean School in Cambodia,” explains Past District Governor Sa-Jo Chung. “We were told that three times more students are now regularly attending school after the project (used to be only 100 and now 300). And community members no longer need to walk four hours to get water. We were very happy to witness that so many people gathered at the well to take care of their needs as soon as it was set up.”

_MG_5862 “With new school, we hope more children will get the education they need and grow up to be competent citizens to further develop Cambodia.  And with new water system, we hope community members can live healthier and contribute back to the society,” says PDG Chung.

The project’s impact does not stop there. In fact, college students in District 356-F were so moved when they heard about this project that they recently visited Chung Spean school and participated in service activities for the school children. The current district cabinet  is planning to visit Cambodia again in March 2016 to build a playground at the school and houses in the village.

Click here to learn how your district can serve a broader community with an LCIF Standard Grant.

Lions Centennial Touchstone Story
Mar
23

Touchstone Story: Now I See

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In 2012, Kevin Braine, underwent a corneal transplant to restore sight to his right eye. The former Apache helicopter pilot for the U.S. Army had first lost vision in his eye two years earlier when it was struck by a piece of glass. But only after undergoing the operation—which replaces the transparent tissue that covers the eye—did Blaine discover where the donor cornea had come from: the Lions Eye Bank of New Jersey. The eye bank stores and distributes donated corneal tissue so that people with damaged corneas, like Braine, can have their sight restored.

Access to corneas, however, wasn’t always so easy. Although ophthalmologist Dr. Edward Zirm performed the first successful corneal transplant in present-day Czech Republic in 1905, for decades there remained no good way to process, store and distribute the transplant tissues.

That all changed in 1944 when Dr. Richard Townley Paton, an eye surgeon at the Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital in New York partnered with Dr. John McLean of New York Hospital and established the world’s first eye bank in New York. Formally organized in December at the Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital, the bank worked with 19 area hospitals to collect healthy corneas from people who pledged their eyes in advance of their deaths. The bank, soon known as Eye-Bank for Sight Restoration, processed and distributed the corneas to grateful recipients.

Eager to promote corneal transplants, the Central Staten Island Lions Club established the Sight Restoration Society, and Lions determined to help people in their communities receive the transplants. Through fundraisers, including raffled refrigerators and scooters, the Buffalo Host Lions Club in upstate New York raised more than US$10,000 to help establish the Buffalo Eye Bank and Research Society Inc. in 1945. It was the second eye bank in the United States.

Other clubs followed suit. Initially corneas had to be used within only a few days of removal, but as technology and development of products and procedures improved, corneas could be stored safely for longer periods of time. In March 1984, the Lions Clubs International Eye Bank Program was officially adopted to help standardize Lions policies and help establish new eye banks. Half of the eye banks in the Eye Bank Association of America today were established by Lions. By 2015, Lions had opened approximately 55 Lions Eye Banks around the world.

Lions clubs support many more eye banks in their own communities, and during the first week of December each year, Lions raise awareness of the benefits of corneal transplants and the role of eye banks in donation and research through Lions Eye Bank Week. Today, thanks to Lions’ early vision for eye banks and continued support, thousands of people each year can say, “I see!”

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