Hello, Lions and friends. I’m currently in the Philippines, where just last week, Typhoon Haiyan wreaked havoc in central areas of the country. During times like these, when disaster strikes, we Lions are at our strongest. We may not be the first responders in areas hit by disasters; when the TV cameras are gone, that’s when Lions come in and we do the for work years afterwards.
Here are some of the ways that Lions have been responding in just the past few days:
LCIF fundraising is so effective because we have a disaster fund, which allows us to instantly respond to catastrophic events around the world. One hundred percent of funds designated for Typhoon Haiyan Relief will go the relief efforts in the Philippines.
Funds will initially be used to meet immediate needs such as food, water and basic supplies. Once basic needs are met and the impacted areas have been stabilized, funding will be shifted to appropriate long-term and infrastructure needs as they are identified.
Your donations can help make a difference, so that those affected by the typhoon can stay strong and rebuild their lives.
As Knights of the Blind, Lions are perhaps best known for the sight services they provide to their communities — both locally and globally. The Recycle for Sight program, for example, involves Lions collecting recycled eyeglasses in their communities, sorting and cleaning the eyeglasses, and distributing them through missions worldwide.
The video above features a group of high school students from Verde Valley School in Sedona, Arizona, USA, that worked with the local Lions club to provide eye care and eyeglasses to people in Malawi. The students spent a year cleaning eyeglasses, reading their prescriptions and packaging them. They traveled to Malawi where they worked with partners, including the Sedona Oak Creek Lions Club, to provide free vision screenings and eye care to children and adults in need. The first day, they dispensed 750 pairs of eyeglasses.
Watch the video to see what these students learned from their experiences, and how their efforts helped change lives.
Today we’re sharing a photo submitted by the 1st Miskolc Lions Club in Hungary. These Lions organized a grape harvest activity for 25 blind people. The local winery made wine with the harvested grapes. Disabled children in the area will design the label of the wine bottles, and the wines will be sold at different wine auctions to help serve the blind community in that region.
Does your club have a fun, unique project that you’d like to share? Tell your story through the Submit a Photo page!
Sunday, November 10, 2013
I want to keep you updated regarding Lions relief efforts in storm-ravaged areas of the Philippines. We immediately sent US$30,000 to provide relief early Friday morning. This was prior to initial reports of the total devastation unfolding hour by hour.
By Friday afternoon, Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) provided a Major Catastrophe Grant of US$100,000. But that’s not all. As the storm struck, it happened that the OSEAL Forum was underway in Singapore. The Lions from OSEAL within hours donated an additional US$370,000 designated funds for Philippines relief efforts, bringing the total funds to US$500,000.
As I said, reports are still coming in. Officials now estimate that 9.5 million are affected, half million are homeless, and the death toll is rapidly rising. Entire towns along the coast have been decimated.
There are more than 12,600 Lions in the Philippines in 380 clubs, with four clubs in Cebu, and one club in the disaster epicenter of Tacloban. Lions on the ground were already busy serving people affected by last month’s major earthquake in nearby Bohol.
We now need to help Lions give relief-aid to those affected in the weeks ahead by this tragedy. The magnitude of this storm is hard to imagine. Some weather officials are calling it the worst storm to make landfall in recorded history. To put it in perspective for some of you, the strength of Typhoon Haiyan was 3.5 times greater than Hurricane Katrina.
You can support your fellow Lions by making a donation to the Foundation’s disaster relief fund. These donations are Melvin Jones Fellowship eligible and help support Lions whenever a need arises due to natural disasters.
Now is the time. They need our help. I will keep you updated in the days ahead. As always, I want to thank you for your generosity.
Wayne A. Madden
Chairperson, Lions Clubs International Foundation
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