As Lions, we SERVE – which means we spend a lot of time and energy organizing service projects or fundraising events.
Successful service projects, whether they involve cleaning up a river, feeding the hungry or building a school, require good project managers and a well-defined process.
If you ever hoped to learn a better way of managing your club events or service projects, Leadership Development’s Project Management webinar would be beneficial to you.
Discuss the skills necessary to be an effective project manager, and examine the phases of project management:
Lions have long been deeply involved in the global effort to relieve hunger.
It’s a big fight: poor nutrition contributes to the death of more than 3 million children every year, and close to a billion people go hungry each day. To ease such misery, Lions battle hunger daily in their own communities.
Some distribute holiday food baskets; others volunteer at local food pantries or organize soup kitchens for the homeless. Typically, the help comes not from a distance, but close-up and personal. In Baggao, Philippines, Lions bring food to Taytay Elementary School to ensure impoverished students get a hot meal. In India, members of the Howrah Greater Lions Club bring food to elderly people “who don’t have anyone to look after them,” explained club member Pawan Kumar Berry.
Many Lions know firsthand what it feels like to suffer from lack of food. “I think hunger is the number one catastrophe in the world,” said Past International President Eberhard J. Wirfs, who served in that post from 2009 to 2010. Born in Germany during the Second World War, Wirfs hasn’t forgotten the post-war years in a shattered country, when he and his family were “hungry and barely able to get by.”
Because hunger can stunt a child’s ability to learn and grow, Lions work particularly hard to help hungry youngsters. Although free school lunch programs help U.S. children during the week, the Hamilton Lions Club in Indiana, USA—worried that local children were going hungry on the weekends—threw its support behind the Boomerang Backpack program, which sends students, who might otherwise not have enough to eat, home on Friday nights with backpacks filled with food.
“It makes me feel really good and happy to know that they’re not going hungry” on non-school days, said Hamilton Lion Jean Griffin Howard.
Thousands of miles away, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gerard Mulimbi, a member of the Kinshasa Tshangu Mwinda Lions Club, echoed the same sentiment. Through his group’s efforts, he said, “We are helping children who are suffering from malnutrition.”
There are many fronts in the battle. Lions in Kenya are fighting famine in Africa with food packages. When war in Lebanon drove many people from their homes, Lions opened a “charity restaurant” that fed a thousand people a day.
In South Africa, Lions have been fighting to reduce hunger for more than 40 years by providing meals to impoverished and hungry people, many of whom either have HIV-AIDS or are children who have lost parents to the disease.
Although victory over hunger remains far in the future, Lions say the fight is worth waging. With the backpack program, said Indiana teacher Randy Shoemaker, “We’re fighting childhood hunger. And if everybody comes together and we pool resources, then the children will win.”
Join us for the Worldwide Week of Service to Fight Hunger, January 9-15, 2017. Start planning your hunger project today, and invite your community to change the world with you!
LDUN was an unforgettable experience. We heard many different speakers on gender equality and peace. One speaker talked about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs are 17 goals to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change by 2030. We decided that this sounded like something that Leos could do and help make happen by 2030. We brought this idea back to our club, and we all thought it was a good idea. Our Leo club along with our local Lions Clubs, are committed to support all 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Some will be tricky, but we believe that we can do it. We will also be using the information influenced by the other speakers (Carter Center, Syrian Refugee Crisis, etc) to help us come up with ideas to achieve these goals.
We fundraised our trip by selling candy bars of different varieties. We also went to different community groups such as the Waconia Lions Club and Cologne Fire Department and asked for donations towards our trip. Not only is this a great and effective way to raise money, but, you get to interact and converse with other clubs in your area! If your club is looking for a way to fundraise, we definitely suggest asking clubs for donations and selling a lot of candy bars!
As we started our fundraising, we were always asked “What are you raising the money for?” After we said it was for Lions Day with the United Nations (LDUN), there was always the follow up question of “What is Lions Day with the UN?” It was hard to fully explain LDUN as we had never been to an event like LDUN before. We tried our best to share what little knowledge we had of LDUN to those who asked us. Even after we came back from LDUN it was a little difficult to explain what it was, but not for the same reason as before. It wasn’t the fact that we had a lack of experience at LDUN, it was because we felt that you had to be there to fully understand it. We shared our stories about what we did that day, but we believe that in order to really comprehend LDUN, one would have to experience it for themselves.
To experience LDUN for yourself, register online today! The registration fee for Leos is US$60.
The earliest civilizations left behind clues that revealed what mattered to them, in the form of artifacts or buildings that have stood the test of time: pyramids rising from desert sands, or stone monoliths in grassy English fields.
Often, the first thing people see when visiting a community is the familiar Lions Clubs International logo. The logo represents a promise of service and a commitment to community. It is perhaps the most familiar marker associated with Lions Clubs International, but it is far from the only one.
Lions Clubs Friendship Arches, designed by Past International Directors Howard Grimm and Vern France, are monuments to friendship between neighboring nations. Made of stone and built to last, the first Friendship Arch was erected in 1966 on the U.S.-Canada border by the Abbotsford Lions Club of British Columbia, Canada and the Sumas Lions Club of Washington.
Many Friendship Arches were erected in the 1960s as symbols of peace and hope in the midst of the Cold War. In 1967, a Friendship Arch was sent overseas and placed on the border between Germany and Belgium. The dedication was attended by Lions from Germany, Belgium and the United States. Dr. Albert Soenen of the Sint-Truiden Lions Club in Belgium, remarked that Sint-Truiden itself was a crossroads for Europe, and that the Friendship Arch was “at the crossing point from London to Vienna, and from Paris to Bonn, uniting four Western European nations—England, France, Belgium and Germany. Perhaps the time has come for Lions to consider placing arches in places where ‘Bridges of Friendship,’ and the conversations that they inspire, are so sorely needed.”
Lions also erect memorials to those among their ranks. When Ray Evans, a member of the Shawnee Lions Club of Oklahoma, was killed by a hitchhiker in 1936, the Lions erected a simple roadside stone monument in his honor. In 1963, to honor the memory of all those who had gone before, Lions from 38 clubs in Rhode Island worked together to raise funds for a stone statue of to honor Rhode Island’s deceased Lions. Lions Clubs International founder Melvin Jones is memorialized both at his place of birth—an official historic site in Fort Thomas, Arizona—and for his service to others, with a display of memorabilia at the Lions Clubs International headquarters in Oak Brook, Illinois.
Driving into town and being greeted by a familiar leonine face on a sign, or strolling past a stone arch dedicated to friendship across international boundary lines sends a signal of comfort and service to all who see them.
On a trip to Belgium several years ago, Carterton, NZ, Lions Club secretary Allan Renall had an epiphany. Witnessing a large group of people in a town square crowding around a seated bronze statue of a man, a light bulb went off.
As men, women and children lined up to have their pictures taken in the pouring rain with the distinguished metal figure, he knew right then and there how he was going to accomplish two goals with one project. He and his fellow Lions would pay homage to Carterton’s philanthropist founder and create a memorable Legacy Project for the Lions’ Centennial Celebration with a larger-than-life bronze replica of Charles Rooking Carter.
Renall returned home to New Zealand, and proposed the idea to the Carterton Lions. He eventually won their support, and the club embarked on a series of fundraising activities for several years. One hundred thousand dollars was raised for the project, and production got underway.
The defining moment arrived on 11 February 2016 when the prime minister of New Zealand himself—the Right Honorable John Key—unveiled the striking bronze of Charles Rooking Carter at a ceremony attended by more than 500 people.
“The statue is by far the largest project our club has ever undertaken,” Renall noted, “and has basically put Lions Clubs International on the map here in New Zealand. It has proven to be a very popular tourist attraction, bringing people into town from all over the country.”
Although Carter lived and died before Lions Clubs International was founded, the characteristics he embodied were clearly Lionesque. He was empathetic to the plight of England’s working class, where he was born, argued against social inequality and willed funds for the establishment of a home for “aged poor men.” Charles Rooking Carter was truly a Lion in spirit if not in name.
The legacy of Carterton’s founder is now officially preserved forever in time through the dedicated efforts of these local Lions.
What will your Lions club legacy be? Start planning your Legacy Project today!
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