Lions At Full Throttle as a ‘Green Machine’ A Chinese proverb advises us to keep a green tree in our hearts and perhaps a singing bird will come. As we reach the last few months of this Lions year, I can say with certainty that we Lions have planted millions of green trees, our hearts and minds are full of belief and good will toward others, and “singing birds” in the form of beautiful landscapes, purer air and protection of soil and wildlife will descend on all corners of the globe. The trees we have planted are the result of the power of “We Believe.” We Lions have planted 6,786,015 trees this year as of March 1. In many instances, our plantings were especially meaningful and poignant to our communities. For instance, Prattville Lions in Alabama planted 250 seedlings at a mobile home park where four people were killed by a tornado, and San Bruno Lions in California replanted California black oak trees in a canyon where a fire destroyed nearly 40 homes. Lions are not planting trees to merely meet a goal or compile an impressive statistic but we are responding to the needs of our communities. We are planting seeds of healing as well as health and well-being. April is the time of Earth Day, and in the Northern Hemisphere the earth reawakens and brings us the glory of spring. Now is the time to keep picking up our shovels and beautifying and healing the planet. How much can we do? The answer is in your hearts, and never underestimate the heart of a Lion. Our belief in our service mission and one another has propelled us into action. “I Believe” has become “We Believe.” Our target rests in the hearts of all Lions. Let’s see how high we can go! We have been able to plant as many trees as we have because of our numerous partnerships. Lions in Kenya are partnering with the Aga Khan Development Network to plant 1.5 million trees, Lions in southern India planted 3.4 million trees with the help of several groups, and Lions in small towns and big cities in many nations are similarly working with others to beautify their neighborhoods. Lions roar loudest when we roar with others. That holds true not only with trees but also with our sight projects, disaster relief and youth programs. “We Believe” is so strong and powerful that it sweeps up others and channels their energies and resources to our goals. Let us continue to reach out to others and plant seeds of partnerships among goodhearted non-Lions. Wing-Kun Tam Lions Clubs International President
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