Lions Clubs International
Jun
27

Palmer’s Blog: Saving Lives in Bosnia

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Lions – My year as your International President is coming to an end, and I’m spending these last few moments continuing to meet new Lions and learn more about what we’re doing around the world.

Last week I was in Bosnia, visiting an emergency center that is also used for educating doctors in Bosnia and surrounding countries. This facility has been supported by LCIF and the Lions of MD105 for the last 18 years since the war ended. Above is a photo of the communication system consisting of 10 telephones and personal mobiles. What a passionate, caring team of individuals who truly make a difference in people’s lives every day!

I’m currently in Toronto, gearing up for the Lions International Convention. I’m looking forward to seeing many of you here!

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Jun
25

Opening Eyes for Baby Georgia

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Lions Walk for Baby Georgia

My name is David Galloway of the Springhill Lions Club in Springhill, Nova Scotia, Canada. I just wanted to shine light on a campaign I recently created, Opening Eyes for Baby Georgia. Last month, I walked blindfolded while guided by a fellow Lion for six days over two mountains from Springhill, Nova Scotia to Truro, Nova Scotia, covering 100 kilometers. The campaign was created to bring awareness and financial support to a family I grew up with in Truro: the Langilles.

Meet Baby Georgia

Georgia Langille was born blind and deaf. Shortly after being born, while trying to find the route of severe multiple daily seizures, it was discovered that she had a congenital disorder called CDG1a. This rare disorder prevents the liver from creating enzymes that break food down to protein for muscle/organ development. This will prevent Georgia from eating solid food, and requires a special diet currently costing over CAD$500 per month.

As Georgia grows, so will her medical expenses. She will need a special oversized supportive wheelchair as her underdeveloped organs and muscles will prevent Georgia from walking or sitting up unassisted. She will need transfer devices, and the house will need to be remodeled to support these new needs. The family will need a new vehicle to transport the special chair.

Because this disorder is so rare, many of these expenses are not covered by the Langilles’ insurance. Georgia’s mother had to leave her job to provide the care her daughter needs and deserves.

That’s when Lions stepped in.

Opening Eyes for Baby Georgia

Our campaign had a goal to create as much awareness to the family and bring the community together. As I finished my six-day blindfolded walk with fellow Lion Jennie Maie Smith, we joined the Nova Scotia Provincial Lions conference in Truro to share the campaign. At this time, our campaign collected over CAD$10,000 in donations from clubs all over our province.

It was at this stage of the campaign that I truly understood what it meant to be a Lion.

From Truro, my guide and I continued to an organized community walk. Many walkers pre-registered and collected donations from sponsors. At the end of the campaign, we tallied up our collection and donated over CAD$14,000 on behalf of the campaign, my local Lions club and all clubs across the province. We have continued to receive donations and have brought the total to over CAD$16,000.

Please take a minute to visit our Facebook page to see photos of our journey, and watch the video above to learn about the precious baby we helped.

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Lions Clubs International
Jun
23

Women Lions Lead the Way

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This article was written by District 202K DG-elect Marian Andrews and originally appeared in the South Pacific Lion Magazine. Thanks for sharing, Lion Marian!

District 202K adds something unique to Lions Clubs International with four women leading the district in succession.

In the 2012-13 Lions year, the district’s first woman was District Governor Robyn Walker from the Whangarei Hatea Lions Club. This year, District Governor Christine Ford is from Bucklands Beach, followed by Marian Andrews, a member of Waipapa & District Lions, then Deidre Bridge from Eden-Epsom club.

These women are great examples of where women can go in the organization, and each one of them has made it this far –not because they are women, but because they have the ability to do the job.

Lions Clubs International

Women make up the fastest growing demographic within Lions Clubs International.  Since women represent 51% of the world’s population, shouldn’t they constitute a similar percentage of Lions worldwide membership?

Working toward this goal is a critical part of creating diversity, adding new perspective to club activities, expanding Lions’ overall membership and meeting the growing service challenges in a world that needs Lions’ help more than ever.

All clubs can benefit from inviting women to join them. Women are hard workers and can be an asset to any organization, so why not Lions Clubs?

Hold a meeting for women in your area; it could be the best thing your club has ever done.

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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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