Preston’s Blog: Nous Servons en France

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Last week Joni and I were in Paris, as I’m sure many of you saw our view of the Eiffel Tour from our room. After being able to tour this beautiful city, Joni and I visited Généthon, a Lions sponsored facility. They conduct genetic research, as well as gene therapy for rare diseases. Their partnership with the Lions has been progressing for 45 years! The next morning, we left for Nice.

Our time in Nice was busy, as we partook in the inauguration of a Lions sponsored facility that treats Alzheimer’s disease. Along with meeting with the Lions of France, we also were able to visit with our furry friends at the Dog Guide School that has been operating since 1966 in Èze, France!

It was incredible to see the institutes the French Lions sponsor and the large impact they are making in their country!

Be sure to follow me on Facebook to see more activities, projects and pictures from my trips around the world.

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Message from the Chairperson: Partnerships Extend the Reach of LCIF

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As a Lion, I truly believe that there is strength in numbers. There’s tremendous strength in partnerships, too. That’s why Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) decided to partner with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. With our help, Gavi has averted the deaths of seven million children.

I recently represented LCIF at “Reach Every Child,” a pledging conference for Gavi, hosted by German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin. To help fight this deadly disease, Lions have committed to raising US$30 million to improve access to vaccines through Gavi.

I am sure that I don’t need to remind you that measles is an extremely infectious disease. Every single day, 330 children die from measles. You can make a contribution to LCIF today to create a healthier, brighter tomorrow for the children who need you most.

Thank you for continuing to fight against measles to ensure all children everywhere receive life-saving vaccinations.


Barry J. Palmer
Chairperson, Lions Clubs International Foundation


View the rest of the February LCIF newsletter here

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Centennial Service Challenge Update: 20 Million Benefited!

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100 million is a lot. Ask anyone. So, last year, when Lions announced our Centennial Service Challenge goal of helping 100 million people before the end of the association’s 100th anniversary, people may have thought we were a little crazy. But now we’re happy to announce that in a few short months, Lions’ service has already benefitted 20 million people!

This data, which measures Lion activities through December 2014, represents the first big step on the path to our Centennial celebration. Thanks to the incredible response from Lions like you, we’re on our way to achieving our goal!

Lions serve. From the Worldwide Week of Service to screening the vision of children in their community and Relieving the Hunger, Lion service touches the lives of people in every corner of the world. Leading up to our Centennial in 2017, Lions have an incredible opportunity to demonstrate the positive impact of service by joining together to help those in need.

We’re off to a great start, but we still have a ways to go. Keep serving and supporting the Centennial Service Challenge by visiting Lions100.org, where you’ll find info and resources to start planning your next Centennial service project today.

Remember, when Lions come together to serve, we can change the world!

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Webinar: Minding Your Members

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Is there anything more important to successful club life and impactful service than cohesive Lions teams? In the “Minding Your Members: Leading Strong Teams” webinar, Lions will learn how to foster strong Lions teams through effective leadership that includes conflict management, empathy, being a changemaker and building bonds.

This interactive session offers practical scenarios to consider optimal leadership principles and a challenge to take back to your club, zone or district.

If you attend one leadership development webinar this year, make it this one!

Presenters: International Director Karla Harris, Past International Director Gary Fry, and Past Council Chairperson Jim Canon

Register today for a time slot below:

Wednesday, 3/4/15,12:00pm, CST
Wednesday, 3/4/15,12:00pm, CST
Wednesday, 3/4/15,12:00pm, CST

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Guest Post by Special Olympics: Targets and Agents

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EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a guest post by David Evangelista, Vice President of Global Development and Government Relations at Special Olympics International.

Something remarkable is taking place in the island nation of Jamaica.

Behind the images of tropical tourist destinations, and beyond the cultural icons that represent the nation on the global stage- a most innovative approach to social inclusion is taking root.

A group of youth gathers together outside of Kingston to clean up the local beaches and parks. The team leaders direct the group in taking on various tasks to complete the mission at hand. From the outside, the view looks like a standard youth-led service project to help protect and preserve the environment. However, and as is often the case with true innovation, there is much more below the surface than meets the eye.

What transpired on the beaches outside of Kingston drives to the heart of a development priority facing the entire globe – forging sustained social inclusion to empower children and adults with intellectual disabilities. It is an unlikely setting to see one of the most promising practices in human and social development.

Through a growing partnership shared between Special Olympics and Lions Clubs International, the Leos of Jamaica, together with Special Olympics Jamaica athletes, are challenging the way society views individuals with intellectual disabilities.  What is their methodology?

Service. And fun.

The Leos of Jamaica have actively engaged and included Special Olympics athletes into local service projects to expand their reach. But much more is taking place. As part of the “Invite an Athlete” initiative, the Leos of Jamaica are helping break down the barriers of discrimination and stigma, and are replacing them with open doors of acceptance, empowerment, and unity.

The Leos of Jamaica have gained a deep understanding of a key innovation that stands to truly uplift a population long left in the shadows. Through their leadership and vision, the Leos have helped transform Special Olympics athletes from objects of service- to agents of service. What was once a population targeted for simple charity has, through Leo engagement, become a population whose willingness to serve is equally valued on a local and national stage.

Special Olympics and Lions Clubs International continue to work to show that individuals with intellectual disabilities have core talents and abilities that they long to offer to their communities. Both on and off the playing field, Special Olympics athletes and Leos continue to team up to create social inclusion- one clean beach, one basketball game at a time.


Special Olympics Jamaica

Something truly remarkable is happening in Jamaica.

Lions Clubs International Foundation has been partnering with Special Olympics International since 2001 through the Opening Eyes program to provide free vision screenings at select Special Olympics sporting events worldwide. Athletes also receive diagnoses for vision-related problems, corrective and protective eye wear, and are taught how to take better care of their eyes. The partnership expanded in 2013 to reach even more people.

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Today is World Water Day

Friday, March 22, 2013

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Lions in Action: Farm to School Garden

Thursday, March 21, 2013

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Be a Lion: Help Children Read

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Why become a Lion? Lions’ volunteer work serves communities all over the world, providing food, health care, environmental awareness, disaster relief and so much more. As a part…

Video: Reading Action Program in India

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Lions Club of Delhi Pitampura South in India recently organized a Reading Action Program project for children. Lions provided lessons and books to improve the students’ reading,…