Apr
26

Touchstone Story #53–Lions on Campus

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 “We wanted something more.”

That’s how Kjerstin Owren Myre and Hans Holand explain the origins of Lions Club Bergen Student, a campus club at the University of Bergen in Norway.

Students at the University of Bergen were active in debate clubs, student organizations and other groups, but nothing was providing the challenge, or the foundation, that allowed them to learn, grow and lead.

“We wanted an experience that combines the fun of being a student with professional organization work and leadership development . . . to explore our passion about humanitarian work,” the pair said, “the opportunity to initiate projects and manage them with other high-potential students.”

So what happened?

“We discovered Lions. Since then, we haven’t looked back.”

Campus Lions Clubs around the world operate like traditional clubs, but they’re located on college or university campuses. Membership is mostly for students but can include university staff and faculty. There are more than 500 campus clubs with 13,000 members around the world, with the first campus club chartered in 1999.

Lions Club Bergen Student has organized Aid in Meeting (AIM), a cultural exchange and aid program that sends students to Uganda and Zambia, sometimes to rural areas that lack electricity, to work with other charitable or humanitarian organizations in support of local communities there. Lions drawn to AIM are self-starters and future leaders, and Lions Club Bergen Student has become a resource for students who want to broaden their horizons and take on humanitarian work but don’t yet have much experience.

“Our job is to identify their individual motivation and passion,” said Myre and Holland, “and to direct the sum of individual passion and motivation toward the club’s common goal: helping people in need, locally, nationally and internationally.”

Taking on responsibility and leadership—serving their friends and neighbors—builds leadership skills and strengthens responsibility for members of campus clubs. Campus clubs regularly offer “alternative spring breaks,” sending students to build houses as volunteers for Habitat for Humanity instead of partying on the beach during a weeklong vacation from college classes.

Campus clubs work locally, as well. The Sam Houston State University Lions Club of Texas has, for going on five years, adopted a two-mile stretch of Highway 75 outside of Huntsville, Texas. Twice a semester, the Lions clean the roadside, often collecting more than a dozen bags of trash that can be taken to recycling centers. The Sam Houston State Lions also work with their sponsoring club, the Huntsville Lions, on an annual Christmas parade and other charity events.

Campus clubs introduce younger members to service with the Lions and create opportunities for those campus Lions to join another Lions club when they graduate and relocate.

Wing-Kun Tam, Lions Club International President from 2011-12, attended the charter ceremony for the University of Georgia Campus Lions Club in 2012. “I believe engaging young people can bring energy into our clubs and provide new insights,” he said. “To ensure the future, we must give young people the opportunity to lead.”

Explore the exciting history of Lions Clubs International with our exclusive Touchstone Stories series.

World Immunization Week 2017 banner
Apr
24

World Immunization Week aims to Prove that #VaccinesWork

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Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) is proud to participate in World Immunization Week, April 24-30, 2017! Every day, Lions are mounting social mobilization campaigns, talking to parents and community leaders, and helping to save the lives of countless children from measles. That is because #VaccinesWork to save lives.

Throughout the week, keep an eye on our social media channels for information on how LCIF, Lions and our partners are working to stop the spread of measles. Watch for messages about the effectiveness of vaccines, how they support local communities and what they mean to everyone.

Infographic showing how vaccines save lives

 

Lion Kester Edwards Receives MJF Award
Apr
20

Special Olympics Winter World Games- Austria 2017

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The Special Olympics World Winter Games happens once every four years in a different location around the globe. This year, it took Special Olympic Athleteplace in Graz, Schladming, and Ramsau, Austria. As a big supporter of the Special Olympics, Lions were present!

March 14-25, 2017, athletes from across the world participated in the Special Olympics World Winter Games. Athletes competed in
sports such as skiing, figure skating, snowshoeing, and floor hockey.

In addition to attending the games, on March 17, Special Olympics hosted a 100 Years of Global Service celebration for Lions Clubs International (LCI). During this celebration, Past International President Wing-Kun Tam was announced as the newest member of the Grace VanderWaal, Aruna Oswal, Jason MrazSpecial Olympics Board of Directors. Adding to the reasons to celebrate, Mrs. Aruna Oswal, one of our humanitarian partners,
announced her US$1 million donation to Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) to sponsor LCI/Special Olympics’ Mission: Inclusion. The donation from the Aruna & Abhey Oswal Trust will go to fund the Mission: Inclusion expansion initiative in India. Making history, Lion Kester Edwards, a Special Olympics athlete and team member at Special Olympics International, became the first Special Olympics Athlete to receive a Melvin Jones Fellowship Award. In addition to the powerful speeches, including one from Tim Shriver, Chairperson of Special Olympics, Grammy Award winner, Jason Mraz and America’s Got Talent winner, Grace VanderWaal delighted attendees with performances.

LCIF’s Opening Eyes program also made an appearance in Graz to provide eye screenings to Special Olympics Athletes. Through this program, more than 161,000 Special Olympics athletes have received prescription eyewear since 2001.

Apr
19

Touchstone Story #89–Lions Humanitarian Award

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Highly visible on the world stage or quietly working in remote places to serve others in need, the amazingly diverse group of men and women honored with the Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) Humanitarian Award have one thing in common: Their work has made the world a better place.

Established in 1973, Lions’ highest honor has gone to Nobel Peace Prize winners (Mother Teresa in 1986 and Wangari Maathai in 2010) a sumo wrestler (Koki Taiho in 1982 for his efforts to promote volunteerism in Japan), heads of state (former  U.S. President Jimmy Carter in 1996 and His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand in 1999), as well as performers (actor Danny Kaye in 1974 for his dedicated work with UNICEF and soprano Barbara Hendricks in 2001 for her efforts to support refugees and international peace).

The award often caps a long life of “substantial humanitarian accomplishment.” The phrase certainly applies to the remarkable 50-year career of Dr. M. C. Modi (1989), an ophthalmologist who performed more than 5 million eye surgeries at remote “eye camps” across south India. Villagers called him kannu kotta annu ‘the brother who gifted us sight.’

All Lions can submit nominations for the annual LCIF Humanitarian Award, which may account for the wide range of causes and recipients through the years.

Presentation of the award is always a high point of the International Convention. As part of the ceremony, LCIF provides the award winner’s charitable organization a grant of up to $250,000. Lions are inspired by stories of dedicated service that reflect the organization’s ideals and principles. And the honorees receive heartfelt encouragement and financial support to carry on their humanitarian work.

Explore the exciting history of Lions Clubs International with our exclusive Touchstone Stories series.

Earthquake Relief
Apr
17

LCIF Awards Disaster Grants, March 2017

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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 March 2017, LCIF awarded 7 emergency grants totaling US$164,046. These grants are addressing immediate needs in:

Illinois, USA, District 1-BK
US$10,000 for tornado relief

Illinois, USA, District 1-CS
US$10,000 for tornado relief

Philippines, District 301-E
US$5,000 for earthquake relief

Missouri, USA, District 26-M1
US$10,000 for tornado relief

Kansas, USA, District 17-K
US$10,000 for wildfire relief

Missouri, USA, District 26-M5
US$10,000 for tornado relief

Brazil, District LC-5
US$10,000 for flood relief

The Republic of Madagascar, District 403-B2
US$10,000 for flood relief

Brazil, District LD-2
US$10,000 for windstorm relief

Indiana, USA, District 25-E
US$10,000 for tornado relief

Morocco, District 416
US$10,000 for flood relief

Republic of South Africa, District 410-D
US$20,000 for community recovery

Peru, District H-3
US$10,000 for mudslide relief

Australia, District 201Q2
US$10,000 for cyclone relief

Tahiti, Undistricted
US$19,046 to equip schools in Tahiti

 

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

Donate to LCIF

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