Lions Clubs International
Jun
20

Teaching Young Students to Serve

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The Coventry Lions Cub program began when the principal of North Coventry Elementary School contacted Lions about starting a Leo club in his school. The students were too young to become Leos, but that didn’t stop Lions from coming up with a new way to get youth involved in service. The first year of the Cub program was during the 2007-08 school year, with 179 students in five schools participating.

Today, Coventry Lions work with Lions Cubs to serve their community through activities such as book drives, eyeglass recycling, tree planting, sending care packages, fundraisers and more. The Cub program has become an excellent way to introduce the joys of community service to young children, and help them understand the importance of helping others.

Interested in starting a similar youth program in your community? Below is a Q & A with Lion Terry Stouffer of the Coventry Lions Club that addresses how the program was started.

Once the idea came along, how long did it take to get other Lions and the schools interested?

The elementary principal contacted me at the end of the school year in 2006. Over the summer, I contacted other principals and teachers in the district. By the end of the summer, every elementary school in our district was on board with the program! It was a big plus that I was a teacher in the district and had built a working relationship with all of our principals and many teachers.

We held a group meeting at the beginning of the school year and developed a plan to introduce the club idea to every school. I set up an orientation program for each of the schools in the district to promote the club.

How many hours are devoted to the Cub program on a regular basis?

The number of hours varies by school. We ask for a minimum of eight after school meetings, or one after school meeting per month. These meetings average one hour. The projects and service activities from each school help dictate the number of hours required.

You started with 179 kids. How many are still with the program?

The number varies slightly year to year – usually around 100 Cubs for the five schools, which averages out to 20 Cubs per school. This year there were 94 members.

How is the interaction between Cubs and Leos?

There have been a few service projects where Leos and Cubs worked together:

  • Last year, Leos and Cubs prepared 500 seedlings for our community to be planted as part of the LCI Million Tree initiative.
  • This school year, all of the Leo clubs and Cubs were involved in a book drive. The clubs just recently surpassed their goal of 5,000 books, which were distributed to poorer school districts in our immediate area and as far away as a New Jersey school affected by Hurricane Sandy.
  • Other projects included the Leos visiting elementary schools during PTO Fairs, and helping Lions Cubs run games and events as a school fundraiser.

Children and young adults are the future of Lions. Find updates on the Cubs program on the Coventry Lions Club website, and learn more about Lions Clubs International Youth Programs.

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Lions Clubs International
Jun
18

Social Media Tip: How to Use Hashtags

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You might hear us telling Lions to use hashtags when posting pictures and stories of service activities on Facebook and Twitter, but what exactly is a hashtag and how do they work? Here’s a basic rundown:

What is a Hashtag?

hash·tag
ˈhaSHtag/
noun
(on social media sites such as Twitter) a word or phrase preceded by a hash or pound sign (#) and used to identify messages on a specific topic.

When you add #LionsClub to a message on Twitter or Facebook, you’re essentially joining a conversation. People on Twitter and Facebook can search for a specific hashtag, and your message will show up in those search results. Your hashtag is letting everyone know the great things that your Lions club is doing for the community.

Here is what shows up on Twitter when searching for messages with the hashtag #LionsClub:


Using Lions Hashtags

There is a handful of hashtags that we use in our social media communications, and we encourage Lions to use them, as well. Pick one or two hashtags under which your message falls; for example, if you’re posting a photo of a recent book drive for the Reading Action Program, add #ReadingActionProgram to the end of your message. Or if you’re sharing photos from your convention experience in Toronto, use #LCICon. For disaster relief efforts, use #LionsRelief. For more general posts — perhaps a simple photo of members at a meeting — use #LionsClub.

 

Lions Hashtags:
#LionsClub
#LeoClub
#LionsEverywhere
#ReadingActionProgram
#LCICon
#LionsRelief
#LIONMagazine
#LDUN
#LCIF
#LionsMeasles
#LeoSummit
#LionsPride
#WeServe

 

Share Your Stories

Hashtags also help us share your stories with Lions everywhere. We’ll often search for Lions hashtags on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and post the stories on our official social media channels. Take pride in your service and help us share your story! #WeServe!

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Lions Clubs International
Jun
16

A Day in the Park with Lions

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The Miskolc First Lady Lions Club in Hungary had a great time celebrating Helen Keller Day earlier this month with blind people in the community. The Lions event invited blind people to join them at a local park for a day of relaxation and exercise, including gymnastics and Nordic walking. Fifty blind people joined in the fun!

Since 1925, when Helen Keller challenged Lions to become “knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness,” sight programs have become a huge part of Lions’ service around the world. These programs include eyeglass recycling, vision screenings, eye banks and more. How does your Lions serve the blind and visually impaired in your community?

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virginia_languza_philippines_large
Jun
15

Greater Peace of Mind, Hope for Her Daughter

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Virginia Languza’s five-year-old daughter had nowhere to spend her days. Until recently, Pasay City, in metro Manila, Philippines, was made up of squatters—people who occupy abandoned buildings without permission. Shacks lined the broken roads; there was no sewage system, no electricity and no sense of safety in the community. Children roamed the streets.

Providing a safe place to grow and thrive

Although the government demolished this makeshift community and constructed housing for 400 families, Lions recognized that there was still a need for a safe place for young children to play and learn. Together, LCIF and Lions from Japan and the Philippines funded the construction of a children’s learning center. The learning center currently serves nearly 100 children and is equipped with books, educational materials, recreational equipment, computers and an outdoor recreation space.

Local Lions are committed to supporting the children’s learning center in the Philippines, regularly volunteering their time for service projects and activities. Long-term plans aim to expand the center so it serves all children who live in the housing project. Lions are committed to helping provide opportunities for underprivileged children in the Philippines and around the world.

A stronger foundation, a more promising future

Languza is thankful for Lions’ support of the children’s learning center in her community. “We can give our daughter a very good center, to learn, to study…We thank Lions because they support projects that give us the opportunity to have this daycare center for our children, for their learning, for their development. It is a great opportunity for us,” she said.

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Lions Clubs International
Jun
12

Your Feedback: Advice for New Clubs

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We asked, and Lions answered!

What advice would you give to a newly chartered club?

  • Pamela Smith Masters: When recruiting new members, don’t worry about getting to a number–seek to connect with those who have a passion for the community and service.
  • Darrell DW: Grow slow and smart. Pick one service project or program goal and do not start another one until your club can sufficiently handle it.
  • Deidre Bridge: Keep building and attracting new people to join your journey and find projects that a relevant to your community needs right now. Get the community involved in setting and achieving your goals.
  • Tammi Maitland Walker Graber: Plan your year ahead. Which service projects will you do and who will chair the projects. How will you raise funds? Find out what your members like to and plan your fundraising doing those things. Have FUN.
  • Raymond Konkoleski: Never give up! Like a building, a strong club takes time to build. Charter Members are only the foundation. Don’t compare yourself to clubs that have been building for forty or fifty years. The only goal you need is to do more as a club and to be a better club than you were yesterday. The rest will take care of itself.
  • Peavy Michael: Remember also that to be able to recognize the needs in your communities you must have communication from within the community and vice versa. I am 40 yrs old and have been a member for about 4 years now. After attending Zone meetings, District and State conventions it has become apparent the lack of youth in our International organization. Reach out to your young businessman and women. They will lead you in the right direction!
  • Yorktown Lions: 1) Your goal is to have a group of people who enjoy being with, and working with, each other; 2) work with a 12 month planning calendar ; 3) begin with a modest service project(s) that 1 or 2 members will champion ; 4) consider partnerships with scout troops, food pantries, veterans groups, hospitals, other Lions Clubs ; 5) think medium and long term: this is a marathon , not a sprint!
  • Alec Owen: Survey each of your members as to what projects they are specifically interested in and excite them, then implement these into the club plan for the coming year. Most people I have talked to want “hands-on” activities that make them feel like they are contributing to a cause they are interested in. Also pick one District activity to get the club involved in – this enables members to meet other clubs and spawn even more ideas. Have fun and serve the community!

Join the conversation! Leave a comment below and share your best advice for newly chartered Lions clubs.

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