LCIF Awards 21 Disaster Relief and Emergency Grants, February 2016

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When natural disasters strike, Lions are there to offer help and support. In times of need, Lions rely on disaster relief grants and funds from Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF). Emergency grants provide up to US$10,000 for districts impacted by a natural disaster that has affected at least 100 people, including tornadoes, hurricanes, floods and tsunamis.

In February 2016, LCIF awarded 21 emergency and disaster relief grants totaling US$205,000. These grants are addressing immediate needs in:

Ecuador, District G-1
US$10,000 for flood relief

Rep. of China, District 300-A1
US$10,000 for earthquake relief

Rep. of China, District 300-A2Lions members pass relief supplies down the line
US$10,000 for earthquake relief

Rep. of China, District 300-A3
US$10,000 for earthquake relief

Rep. of China, District 300-B1
US$10,000 for earthquake relief

Rep. of China, District 300-B2
US$10,000 for earthquake relief

Rep. of China, District 300-C1
US$10,000 for earthquake relief

Rep. of China, District 300-C2
US$10,000 for earthquake relief

Rep. of China, District 300-C3
US$10,000 for earthquake relief

Rep. of China, District 300-D1IMG_2455
US$10,000 for earthquake relief

Rep. of China, District 300-D2
US$10,000 for earthquake relief

Rep. of China, District 300-E1
US$10,000 for earthquake relief

Rep. of China, District 300-E2
US$10,000 for earthquake relief

Rep. of China, District 300-F
US$10,000 for earthquake relief

Rep. of China, District 300-G1
US$10,000 for earthquake relief

Rep. of China, District 300-G2
US$10,000 for earthquake relief

Alabama, USA, District 34-B
US$5,000 for tornado relief6kjfUwCq1-QmtwyjI-dUhzLkLjwY45ZsKXCco9OVUjU

Indonesia, District 307-A1
US$10,000 for flood relief

New Zealand, District 202-K
US$10,000 for cyclone relief

Florida, USA, District 35-L
US$10,000 for tornado relief

Virginia, USA, District 24-D
US$10,000 for tornado relief


Touchstone Story: Earthquake in Japan

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After a devastating earthquake struck the east coast of Japan in March of 2011, Lions were on the front lines of the emergency rescue effort.

The scope of the disaster was almost unimaginable. The quake did damage, but the worst destruction came from the tsunami that followed: a more than 50-foot wall of seawater swept miles inland, wiping out entire towns as well as highways, airports and agricultural land.

More than 15,000 people died in the most destructive earthquake in Japan’s history, and hundreds of thousands lost their homes and all their possessions. Millions of Japanese lacked electricity, heat, food or clean water. To make matters worse, radiation from damaged nuclear power plants contaminated a broad swath of the region, forcing more people from their homes.

As international aid began pouring in, Lions in Japan and around the world contributed to the relief effort as early responders. The Lions Clubs International Foundation moved rapidly to provide funding for crucial services, eventually directing more than $21 million in disaster aid.

In Japan—home to more than 100,000 Lions in 3,200 clubs—Lions answered the call to serve. They turned the main Lions office in Tokyo into emergency relief headquarters and coordinated relief efforts via social media. Volunteer Lions from across Japan went to the stricken area, where they helped distribute food and supplies and assisted with evacuation efforts.

Within a day of the disaster, while highways remained closed and aftershocks continued to shake the region, Japanese clubs had distributed 20 tons of food, water and emergency supplies and set up blue Lions relief tents to house aid workers, “despite great risks and challenges to themselves,” said Past International President Eberhard J. Wirfs, who served as LCIF chairperson from 2010 to 2011.

“Lions across Japan sent us water and food,” said Masamitsu Kitamura, president of Hitachi Sakura Lions Club. Those contributions, he said at the time, “will mean the world to people who are spending time in darkness at shelters.”

Within days of the disaster, members of the New York Japanese-American Lions Club were on the streets of Manhattan collecting donations, raising $150,000 in contributions from generous New Yorkers. The club’s early donation was “critical to helping those in desperate need,” Wirfs told the New York club’s President Riki Ito in a letter.

Over time, Lions’ efforts to help ranged from purchasing major medical gear for struggling hospitals to delivering food and chopsticks to dislocated survivors.

Even as Lions helped with the immediate disaster relief, others were contributing to the reconstruction effort. In the port town of Ofunato, Lions helped restore jobs by providing cooking and refrigerating equipment that allowed the devastated food district to reopen.

With help, Japan was moving toward a distant recovery. Amid the devastation, Lions on the scene were “standing with dignity, and ready to help in the worst conditions,” said a member of the Odawara Lions Club.

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A young child sits on a woman's lap eating a banana

Lions and LCIF are Feeding Hungry Children in the Philippines

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According to the World Food Programme, poor nutrition causes nearly half (45%) of deaths in children under five – 3.1 million children each year. With funding support from Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF), the Manila Amity Lions Club is operating a six-month supplemental feeding program to reduce hunger in some of the poorest areas in the Philippines.

Local Lions hope that these weekly meals will help to improve the health of undernourished children. Each meal is a healthy balance of proteins, carbohydrates and vitamins to support physical and mental growth. Children enrolled in the feeding program even get meals to take home.

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Remember, LCIF  provides grant funding to assist Lions districts in developing and implementing a variety of large-scale humanitarian projects. These humanitarian grants help Lions expand their outreach and increase their impact within local and global communities to serve even more people in need around the world. Visit for more information.


#LIONS100 Centennial Bus Tour Recap

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From February 18 to 27, 2016, the Lions Centennial Bus drove through 9 states in 9 days in the southern U.S. to help promote the Lions Centennial Celebration. During the tour, First Vice President Bob Corlew inducted new members, chartered new clubs and participated in service projects. View the Storify below or click here. (Use Firefox or Chrome as your browser for best viewing results.)


SightFirst Brings Clearer Vision to Timor Leste

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Timor Leste is a small county located in the southeast section of Indonesia, northwest of Australia. It has a population of just over a million people, half of whom are under the age of 18, with a majority living in rural areas. Timor Leste’s infrastructure was almost completely destroyed in the violence that followed the vote for independence in 1999, which also left the country without a viable health care workforce. The country continues to rely heavily on visiting teams from other countries while slowly trying to build its local health care capacity.

The Lions of Australia have a long history of support to Timor Leste, including leading teams to repair and build hospitals and schools, supplying medical aid and spectacles, and supporting the eye care and transportation of patients in remote areas.

When the Lions of Australia decided to apply for a SightFirst grant from Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF), a national eye health survey had found that 91 percent of people had reported a previous or current eye or vision problem, yet only 34 percent of these had ever sought out care. Many people did not know treatment was available or were not able to get to a doctor.  The survey indicated that approximately 47,000 people over the age of 40 had some sort visual impairment. It was determined that nearly all of these conditions are preventable or treatable.

The Lion undertook this project to build the country’s overall eye care capacity by strengthening existing eye care human resources and improving the infrastructure at the district level. Infrastructure upgrades include providing ophthalmic equipment to five eye clinics and establishing of a prosthetic eye lab.

This project is a collaboration between the Lions of Timor Leste, District 201-Q4, Lions Recycle for Sight Australia, the Ministry of Health and the RACS Timor Leste Eye Program.


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