YCE Chairperson Spotlight: Lion Barbara Milcic

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As a part of the August Engaging Our Youth Centennial Service Challenge, we’re featuring spotlights on Lions Youth Camp and Exchange chairpersons and participants. Today’s spotlight is on Lion Barbara Milcic, a 2014-15 YCE Chairperson AND a 1996 YCE participant! Learn how you can get involved with Lions Youth Camps and Exchange!

My relationship with the Youth Camp and Exchange program is very personal and it changed my life in many ways. I first became involved in summer of 1996, when I participated in the Lions Camp in Bonn in Germany. My stay in Germany enabled me to get acquainted with my future unforgettable friends, and to get to know the Institutions in Bonn at that time — the Headquarters of parliament and government of Germany.

The most important aspect of the camp was to meet friends for life. With some campers I still have good contacts and we still meet. During the stay I became very fond of my host family, and with them I experienced everyday life. They are still my German family, and I still have very good relations with them. We have met several times since 1996. Also at that time there was war in Croatia, and this opportunity to visit and join this kind of program gave me new and more optimistic view of the future, opened new windows and gave me more confidence and self- esteem.

All those facts convinced me that through the YCE program, youth and host families could develop very strong relations. Links and strengths that could be established for future society.

From the very beginning, it is friendship without reserve.

When I was offered to take charge of leading YCE in Croatia, District 126, I knew that not only Croatia would benefit, but for all countries in the world.

Being in close contact with host families who participated in the program, they informed me about the stay of youth and their experience. Often they tell me that the participants want to return next year, and sometimes wish to be a host family in the future. Being in contact with parents of the youth participating in program, they tell me about the children’s positive change after returning from the exchange – more confident, more mature, more self-esteem and friendships established.

This program wouldn’t work without the enthusiastic Lions around the worldwho devote their time to connect Lions, youth and families in the spirit of the first Lions objective: “To foster the spirit of understanding between the nations of the world.”

If I had to summarize the YCE program in 5 phrases:  Friendship, connecting people, Lions, positive impact and self development.


Touchstone Story: Staying Connected

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In November 1918, just as World War I was ending, a new service organization based in Chicago released a short magazine to keep members informed and excited about their growing association. Its circulation was small, but Lions Clubs International determined the publication would benefit members, clubs and, as stated in the first issue, “the great causes in which they are all interested.” The idea was a perfect fit. Lions Club Magazine, later renamed LION Magazine, has been published ever since.

While LCI has grown far beyond its U.S. roots to become a global organization of more than 1.35 million members, LION Magazine has remained an essential communication piece for the organization. Through stories of service and friendship, Lions can keep up with their fellow Lions locally and around the world.

The first, 32-page magazine set a precedent. It opened with a speech by International President L.H. Lewis. It published news from the most recent international convention, activities from individual clubs, a few human interest stories and photos of Lions.

To help get the magazine up and running, members of the Lions Club of Chicago purchased the majority of the early ads. Melvin Jones, Lions Clubs’ founder and secretary-treasurer, even placed one ad for Melvin Jones Insurance: “If you think your rate is too high, phone Wabash 400.”

Today, 33 editions of the magazine are printed in 20 languages, and digital and audio versions help ensure Lions can access the news wherever they go. The English-language headquarters edition has the largest circulation—360,000—and covers Lions clubs in the United States and Canada. All editions have a local focus, but each magazine contains some consistent content, such as the president’s column or articles on the SightFirst campaigns.

Editors regularly pull stories and images from each other, yet because Lions are so active in their communities it is impossible for any single edition to share all of the great stories in its own area, much less of the whole organization. “We have to make hard decisions sometimes,” Jay Copp, senior editor of the headquarters edition said, “but we do our best to be representative and include club news submitted to us.”

Lions are proud of their organization and want others to understand their work and what it means to be a Lion. The LION Magazine helps spread the word, often circulating beyond members and appearing in city halls and dentists’ waiting rooms. “For us,” Copp said, “it’s a sacred duty to always put out a good magazine to reflect the world of Lions and tell our story.”

Read the entire collection of Touchstone Stories at!


LCIF Helps to Ease the Burden in Brazil

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The Father Tiãozinho Cancer Patient Support Association was founded in 2004 to serve cancer patients who travel to Monte Claros for treatment from other parts of Mina Gerais, Brazil.

For the first nine years, the association arranged home stays for traveling patients through a network of volunteer families. Each patient was given transportation to and from treatments, as well.  In 2013, the association proudly opened a 32-bed extended stay home located near two of Monte Claros’ major hospitals. The home provides cancer patients with a centralized place for lodging, meals, occupational therapy, and transportation to and from treatment. Each patient is accompanied by a family member or friend who stays with them for the duration of their treatment. Local Lions clubs’ fundraising helps to pay the home’s operating costs.

Though the association continued to grow, its fleet of vehicles did not. The association was using a five-passenger vehicle for all of its transportation needs, and the limited space caused delays in getting patients to their treatments.

The Lions of District LC-4 were recently awarded an LCIF Standard grant of US$27,900 to purchase a 15-passenger transportation vehicle and medical equipment for the association. Now, patients are transported in a more efficient and comfortable manner and the home is able to provide improved medical care.

Through standard grant projects, communities gain access to education, technology, health care and many other life-changing improvements. If your club has identified a need in your community that is beyond the scope of traditional club and/or district fundraising activities, a Standard grant could provide matching funds from up to US$100,000 to help you make a real difference right where you live. Review the Standard Grant Criteria & Application today to get started!



LCIF Awards 25 Disaster Relief and Emergency Grants, July 2016

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Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) offers a variety of funding options to support various stages for disaster relief operations, including Disaster Preparedness, Emergency, Community Recovery and Major Catastrophe Grants.

For districts impacted by a natural disaster that has affected at least 100 people, including tornadoes, hurricanes, floods and tsunamis, Emergency grants provide up to US$10,000. Lions district governors may apply for disaster relief funds to help meet immediate needs such as food, water, clothing and medical supplies. LCIF typically awards more than US$2 million in Emergency Grant funding each year.

In July 2016, LCIF awarded 25 emergency and disaster relief grants totaling US$215,000. These grants are addressing immediate needs in:

California, USA, District 4-A2
US$10,000 for wildfire relief

India, District 323-C
US$5,000 for flood relief

West Virginia, USA, District 29-L
US$10,000 for flood relief

India, District 321-C1
US$5,000 for landslide relief13

MD300 Taiwan, District 300-F
US$10,000 for typhoon relief

MD300 Taiwan, District 300-A2
US$10,000 for typhoon relief

MD300 Taiwan, District 300-A3
US$10,000 for typhoon relief

MD300 Taiwan, District 300-C3
US$10,000 for typhoon relief

MD300 Taiwan, District 300-C2
US$10,000 for typhoon relief

MD300 Taiwan, District 300-C1
US$10,000 for typhoon relief

MD300 Taiwan, District 300-E2
US$10,000 for typhoon relief

MD300 Taiwan, District 300-A1
US$10,000 for typhoon relief

MD300 Taiwan, District 300-B2
US$10,000 for typhoon relief

Rep of Bangladesh, District 315-B1Earthquake China
US$5,000 for flood relief

India, District 322-D
US$5,000 for flood relief

Nepal, District 325-A2
US$5,000 for flood relief

France, District 103-IE
US$10,000 for flood relief

MD300 Taiwan, District 300-E1
US$10,000 for typhoon relief

MD300 Taiwan, District 300-G1
US$10,000 for typhoon relief

MD300 Taiwan, District 300-B1
US$10,000 for typhoon relief

India, District 322-F
US$10,000 for flood relief

Nepal, District 325-A1
US$5,000 for flood relief

Indonesia, District 307-B1
US$10,000 for flood relief

Burkina Faso, District 403-A1
US$10,000 for flood relief

Nepal, District 325-B2
US$5,000 for flood relief

Please consider making a donation to LCIF’s disaster fund today.

Donate to LCIF


Touchstone Story: United Nations

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As World War II raged, leaders of the Allied nations looked beyond the end of the conflict and held talks on a world body for preserving peace–an entity that would be stronger than the toothless League of Nations. Lions rallied behind the idea. In 1943 in Cleveland at their international convention, Lions endorsed a U.S. House of Representatives resolution calling for an international peacekeeping mechanism once the fighting ended.

In February 1945, Lions’ founder Melvin Jones gathered with leaders of other national groups to meet with Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau Jr. and Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs Archibald MacLeish to discuss forming a United Nations. In April Lions headquarters asked clubs to hold a United Nations week to show support for the initiative.

Lion Clubs International was one of the first nongovernmental organizations invited to assist in drafting the U.N. Charter. Jones, International President D.A. Skeen of Salt Lake City, Utah, and future International President Fred W. Smith of Ventura, California, helped to formulate the NGO section of the charter and participated in developing the U.N.’s humanitarian mission. On June 26, 1945, the U.N. charter was signed by the representatives of 50 countries.

Two years later in 1947, in recognition of the importance of Lions Clubs to its mission, the United Nations gave Lions consultative status with the U.N. Economic and Social Council, committed to the welfare of people worldwide. For generations, Lions and the U. N. have shared many common goals and worked together to further peace and prosperity.

Each year Lions and the U.N. celebrate their relationship. Begun in 1978, Lions Day with the U.N. calls together leaders from government, business and the nonprofit sector to explore solutions to pressing global needs. The annual event features a keynote address by a recognized world leader, expert panel discussions and, since 1989, the awards ceremony for the winners of the Lions International Peace Poster Contest encouraging young people to express their perspectives on peace. Lions Day is punctuated with a reception for U.N. diplomats, Lions, speakers and guests to celebrate this special and enduring relationship.

Read the entire collection of Touchstone Stories at!


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