Jennifer Gilbert Gebhardt 2014-11-12 00:28:33
Bacolod City Host Lions Club, Philippines Age 48 | Real Estate Developer, City Councilor I started out as a Leo but even before that I would go with my parents to their Lions projects. My whole extended family were Lions. My husband, Alan, is a Lion and our three children are Leos. Lionism is a family affair. What I like most is doing medical missions. We live in a country with more than half of the population living below the poverty line. There are many people in remote villages who have never seen a doctor. At times I feel overwhelmed with the amount of work that needs to done. I’m thankful to know there’s a team, a whole organization, of capable people with big hearts. On one medical mission in a remote town, a middle-aged man came up to us. He was from the next town but rode the bus to thank the Lions for giving him back his eyesight. He had become a carpenter and was making wooden furniture. It feels good to know that we really made a difference in a person’s life. And in turn, he’s able to help his family and others. Another time I was campaigning for a seat in the city council and giving my first speech. I was very nervous, and I felt like I was boring the audience. Suddenly, an elderly woman asked to step up to the podium. She told them that she knew me because I was president of the Lions club when she received her cataract surgery. She had been almost blind for a decade before that. She said that she now earns a living making handicrafts and even employs other women in her village. She said she could never forget me. Last year I was the first woman elected MD 301 council chair. When I look at all the new members’ faces, I try to imagine how they see me. I ask myself, have I been a leader that others would want to emulate? Have I conducted myself in a respectable and admirable way? As a leader, the road can sometimes be lonely. I feel it every time I’m faced with a goliath task and I’m just David with a sling shot. That’s how I felt after Super Typhoon Haiyan last year. But whenever I feel almost defeated, I look behind me and see the people who support me in my endeavors. In Lions, you’re never alone.
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