#LDUN Spotlight: Leo Deborah Herlan

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Meet Leo Deborah of Düsseldorf-Rheinmetropole Leo Club (Germany). Deborah will speak at this year’s Lions Day with the United Nations on March 4, 2017 on issues related to refugees and inclusion. Interested in hearing Leo Deborah speak at LDUN? Register by clicking the button below.

What do you enjoy most about being a Leo?

The best part of being a Leo is that charity and leadership get a new perspective. Getting your hands dirty and redecorating an orphanage with your Leo friends is an indescribable feeling. As a Leo, I have the possibility to change things and further develop leadership skills by going out of my comfort zone.

Why is it important that we address the refugee crisis?

We are all affected by the refugee crisis, no matter where we live or how much contact we actually have with refugees. As human beings, it is our duty to support those who are in need and give importance to every single person’s life. The life of a child who is fleeing from the war in Syria matters as much as the life of a child who is safe and sound in Germany. Together, we can address the refugee crisis took if we start recognize the importance of all lives and cooperate.

How have Leos in Europe addressed issues related to the refugee crisis?

There are many different activities organized by European Leos to support refugees. We collect groceries and clothes for families; we show new refugees our cities and help them become oriented. Unfortunately, the government makes it sometimes challenging to support refugees since policies make refugees change places too soon to acclimate in their new area. But Leos in Europe do their best to make all refugees feel welcome, wherever they can!

How can young people take action and get involved?

First of all, don’t be afraid of leaving your comfort zone and try something new! It is so easy to help. You can organize a “sports and fun” day with some refugee children. The children are so grateful, and it is so important to provide them a childhood with games and fun. Or you can teach refugees your language. I did it several times, and it was really fun. You even learn some things as well.

What about Lions Day with the United Nations excites you the most?

I am excited to give refugees a voice at the United Nations and to show the great work Leos in Europe do. European Leos can serve as role models for young people. We can show them that service is fun, and together, we can make an impact!

Piet Steel, President of Special Olympics Belgium, presents the Golisano Health Award to Remy Huwaert, Council Chairman of Multiple District 112, Belgium

Lions of Belgium Honored by Special Olympics

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The Lions Clubs of Belgium have received an inaugural Golisano Health Award, given to them by the leadership of Special Olympics Belgium. The Lions of Belgium and SO Belgium have shared a vibrant national partnership since 2010, focused on improving the quality of health services offered to individuals with intellectual disabilities.

The Golisano Foundation is one of the largest private foundations in the United States devoted exclusively to supporting programs for people with intellectual disabilities. The Golisano Health Award is bestowed upon leaders in the health field for Special Olympics.

Council Chairman Remy Huwaert of Multiple District 112 accepted the award from Piet Steel, president of Special Olympics Belgium. [pictured above]

“We are incredibly grateful for the support that the Lions Clubs of Belgium provide to our athletes across Belgium every year, and even more honored to bestow upon them this unique distinction,” says David Evangelista, acting president and managing director of Special Olympics Europe-Eurasia.

Congratulations to the Lions of Belgium on this prestigious recognition!

Mission: Inclusion is the global partnership between Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) and Special Olympics. Since 2001, Special Olympics has partnered with Lions around the world to provide health education to families and caretakers of individuals with intellectual disabilities.

Lions around the world support the growth of Opening Eyes (LCIF’s vision care partnership program with Special Olympics) engage Leo youth volunteers in inclusive sports, host family health forums and support the creation of Special Olympics-focused Lions Clubs integrating athletes into local Lions Clubs.

A child receiving a measles shot.

Past International President Joe Preston Mobilized US$5,163 to Give More Than 10,000 Children Measles Vaccines

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At Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF), fighting measles is one of our greatest humanitarian efforts. Measles is a real concern, especially in underdeveloped parts of the world. Over 400 people die from measles each day. It is especially dangerous for young children, being the leading cause of death in children under the age of five. While obtaining the measles vaccination shot might not be feasible for some, giving the vaccination shot is so easy for those who have the ability to give. The vaccination only costs one U.S. dollar per shot. With a 100% match from our partners, Gavi, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and UK Aid, Past International President (PIP) Joe Preston and his wife Joni set a goal of collecting enough money to vaccinate 10,000 children through their Facebook fundraiser. Their goal was to raise US$5,000 during the fundraiser which started on Giving Tuesday (November 29, 2016) and ended on the last day of the year (December 31, 2016). After collecting the money through Facebook and receiving donation checks sent to LCIF, PIP Joe Preston and Joni have exceeded their goal! A grand total of US$5,163 was collected. Since our partners are matching the donations dollar for dollar, 10,326 children will now be able to get a potentially life-saving measles vaccination. In the words of PIP Joe Preston, “What a great holiday gift, saving the lives of 10,000 needy children.” Thank you to PIP Joe Preston, Joni, our partners, and all of the donors that made this fundraiser successful.

To support our measles initiatives, donate today.

Donate to LCIF


Young Chicago-Area Artist Honored for Her Vision of Peace

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Twelve-year-old Ashley Zhang has been creating art since she was eight years old, but the Bloomingdale, IL native says it wasn’t until she entered her drawing in the 29th annual Lions International Peace Poster Contest that she realized the kind of person she wanted to be.

“I just pictured what peace was like to me,” Ashley told CBS 2 Chicago.

On January 19, 2017, Chicago leaders in arts and youth outreach selected Ashley as one of 116 international Peace Poster Contest finalists from more than 600,000 young artists in 60 countries. Ashley’s Peace Poster is now being displayed in Loyola University’s Museum of Art alongside the entries from other finalists.

The winner of the International Peace Poster Contest will be announced on March 4 at Lions Day with the United Nations—an annual gathering of Lions, dignitaries and lawmakers to discuss solutions to global humanitarian challenges—and honored at Lions Clubs International 100th annual Convention in Chicago this July.

Every year, Lions clubs from around the world empower more than half a million children to express their visions of peace by sponsoring Peace Poster materials. The theme for this year’s contest was “A Celebration of Peace.” Ashley’s entry was made possible by the Bloomingdale Lions Club, which partnered with her school to provide the contest materials to students.

Lions Clubs International’s 1.4 million members improve people’s lives in more than 200 countries and geographic areas by identifying and addressing local and global needs, which include engaging youth, relieving hunger, protecting the environment, saving sight, and much more.

To learn more and to find a club in your community, visit lionsclubs.org. To learn more about the Peace Poster contest, visit lionsclubs.org/peaceposter.


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