Lions around the world know that Lions Quest is LCIF’s social-emotional learning program. Social-emotional learning has been proven again and again to decrease problem behaviors like bullying and substance use and increase positive behavior patterns like self-discipline and conflict resolution.
There’s more to Lions Quest, though. Lions Quest also emphasizes service-learning; students learn important leadership skills by organizing and carrying out
school and community service projects. According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, students who are involved in helping out in the community are happier at home, less likely to use alcohol or other drugs, and more successful in, and committed to school.
Lions Quest is alive and well in the Eagle Mountain-Saginaw Independent School District in Eagle Mountain, Texas, USA, and the students there are very
involved in service learning. Students at Ed Willkie Middle School in Fort Worth kicked off their community service by greeting veterans, active military, and guests as they handed out buttons, programs, and flags at the Saginaw Veterans Day Memorial Service.
After the ceremony, they helped serve each guest a BBQ dinner. When it was over, the students cleaned up. Students from nearby Saginaw and Boswell high schools also pitched in. Students also wrapped boxes of donations for a local
food pantry organization.
It was a day filled with helping others. As one student put it, “This was fun to help those who have given so we can be students today.”
Social mobilization is a form of advocacy that Lions do very well! And, it is an important part of Lions Clubs International Foundation’s (LCIF) partnership with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. LCIF is committed to raising US$30 million by 2017, the 100 year anniversary of Lions Clubs International. If Lions and LCIF meet this goal working alongside Gavi, the contributions will be matched by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, allowing LCIF and Lions to provide US$60 million for vaccinations.
Aside from donating to the One Shot, One Life: Lions’ Measles Initiative, social mobilization provides Lions the opportunity for hands-on work to fight measles within their own communities.
Lions’ social mobilization efforts include posting flyers, radio ads, television debates, mobile public announcements, and street theater to demonstrate the importance of vaccination. Lions organize inauguration festivities and serve as volunteers at vaccination centers. Lions often go door-to-door to educate parents on the dangers of measles and the value of vaccination. The video above shows the Lions of Kenya participating in social mobilization activities in May 2016.
What do former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Swiss astronaut Claude Nicollier and New Zealand mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary have in common? They have all been members of Lions Clubs International.
The service model and camaraderie of Lions Clubs is attractive to people from every walk of life including people in the spotlight: well-known athletes, politicians, television personalities, entertainers, innovators and business leaders. Lions clubs have welcomed them all with open arms. For Lions, all that matters is that people have a heart for service.
Sir Edmund Hillary joined the Remuera Lions Club in Auckland, New Zealand, in 1965, after finding out about the association from his family lawyer, Bruce Oliphant, a charter member of the club. A decade earlier, Hillary and his partner Tenzing Norgay made history as the first people to climb to the top of the world’s tallest mountain, reaching the summit of Mt. Everest in 1953.
Yet despite Hillary’s fame, he was always to serve his fellow members, assist people in need and encourage others to do the same. In 1966, one of the Remuera Lions Club’s activities became raising money for the Himalayan Trust, which Hillary had founded several years earlier to help people in isolated mountain regions of Nepal be healthier and economically stable. In the mid-1960s, the Lions clubs of Auckland raised more than 8,000 New Zealand pounds through lectures and tickets sales to help build the Kunde Hospital in Nepal.
Serving with Lions Clubs has been attractive to other explorers as well. The first astronaut from Switzerland, Claude Nicollier, joined the Montreux Lions Club in 1999, the same year he completed his final mission in space, servicing the Hubble Space Telescope. Later becoming an honorary member, Nicollier continues to work with Lions and speak at events.
Lions never know whom they will inspire to serve. When Jimmy Carter returned home to Plains, Georgia, in the early 1950s after a career in the U.S. Navy, he joined the Plains Lions Club, where his father had been a charter member. Carter began serving in local projects, such as blood donation and eyeglass collection programs, but gradually, he took on more leadership roles, even serving as chairperson of Georgia’s multiple district council in 1968.
“Lions Clubs meant a great deal to me,” Carter said. “It gave me a chance to learn about public service without holding public office.”
After Carter finished his term as the 39th president of the United States. He continued his passion for service by founding The Carter Center in Atlanta to advance peace and health around the globe. He remained a Lion, and through The Carter Center, partners with Lions Clubs to help address diseases such as river blindness and trachoma.
From the White House to the highest mountain and everywhere in between, where there’s a need, there’s a Lion.
I recently spent time in Sri Lanka, a small country that has five Lions eye hospitals serving a population of over 21 million people. LCIF has helped fund all five eye hospitals. I was very impressed with the facilities, their level of care and the active involvement of the local Lions.
On a recent trip through the United States, I visited a fantastic Lions KidSight USA program in Iowa. KidSight USA is a national coalition that brings together Lions vision-screening programs for young children. Last year, Iowa KidSight screened more than 46,000 children, ranging in age from six months to six years. Five percent of those children needed to see an eye doctor. That means 2,300 children might still be living with visual impairments if not for KidSight USA! Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) supports the screening programs through grant funding.
Good things happen when we work together, and I am so proud of the work that Lions do to improve the lives of people in their communities and around the world. Remember, it is only through your generosity that we are able to improve the lives of millions every year. As we approach the end of the fiscal year, please consider making a donation so that LCIF can reach its fundraising goal and continue changing lives.
Together in Service,
Chairperson, Lions Clubs International Foundation
Click here to read the rest of the May newsletter.
Don’t miss the new Leadership Development Club Officer Webinar Series!
If you are a new or returning club officer, join us as we explore the various roles and responsibilities of a club officer, including updates on the Centennial Service Challenge and Centennial Legacy Projects.
Two sessions will be offered for each topic. Click the links below to register.
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