Hello from Lions Clubs International Headquarters in Oak Brook, Illinois, for my first visit as International President! I arrived at the office on Monday, where LCI staff gave me and Joni a warm welcome. We enjoyed a barbecue lunch, and I was able to meet so many of the wonderful employees that help clubs all over the world serve their communities better. So much attention and thought goes into planning service programs, recruiting members and sharing Lions stories, and I’m excited to get to work closer with these fine folks over the next year.
Your International President,
On Sunday, a terrible tragedy occurred. A large earthquake struck the Yunnan Province of China. Authorities estimate that more than 400 people have lost their lives from the Zhaotong earthquake, with an additional 2,300 people injured across several counties. Even more people are missing. It is estimated that 25,500 homes were completely destroyed, with an even higher number of houses damaged.
Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) immediately awarded a US$250,000 Major Catastrophe Grant with money from the disaster relief fund, allowing Lions in affected areas to immediately begin providing assistance. These funds will help meet immediate needs by providing food, water, medicine, blankets and other necessities as quickly as possible. The funds will also support long-term reconstruction and recovery.
With approximately 21,000 Lions members in China, many of our fellow Lions have been directly impacted by this disaster. We must help them as they provide relief and assistance to their affected communities. I encourage you to consider making a donation to the Foundation for disaster relief. Donations to the disaster relief fund are Melvin Jones Fellowship eligible and can make a real difference in times of need.
Thank you for your support.
Barry J. Palmer
Chairperson, Lions Clubs International Foundation
With 1.35 million members in over 200 countries and geographic locations, Lions everywhere are making a difference in their communities every day. Every life a Lions member touches – whether a young girl who learns to read through a Lions literacy initiative, or a man who receives the eye care he needs to finally see his family clearly – is an amazing story about passion, dedication and service.
The Lions Blog is about sharing these stories. Are you a Lion with a successful service activity to share? Has a Lions club or member changed your life? We want to hear from you!
Download our Contributor Guidelines to learn what kind of stories we’re looking for.
Guide dogs might be cute and cuddly, but when they’re guiding their owners to safety, they’re at work. The video above features members of the Chestermere Lions Club in Alberta, Canada, who are big supporters of the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides and are working to get the word out about respecting guide dogs at work. That means giving them the attention they need to do their job — instead of petting or playing with them, which distracts the dogs from the task at hand, people should be aware of their presence and react accordingly.
Watch the video to learn more!
Last week Joni and I visited Nairobi, Kenya, where Lions of District 411A are already joining in the Centennial Service Challenge — celebrating 100 years of service by helping us reach our goal of serving 100 million by December 2017.
We started off the beautiful morning with songs, poems and dancing. At lunchtime, we participated in a Feeding the Hungry project, serving hot, nourishing meals to over 600 hungry children. It was such a pleasure meeting and feeding these children. Our next project was planting trees as a part of our Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) partnership. Joni and I planted the first of 9,000 trees! Think of how many people these trees will help over the years!
The Centennial Service Challenge asks Lions to serve people in need through our Global Service Action Campaigns: Engaging Our Youth, Sharing the Vision, Relieving the Hunger and Protecting Our Environment. I look forward to joining Lions across the globe in meeting this challenge!
How is your club participating in the Centennial Service Challenge?
Your International President,
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