Jay Copp 2014-11-12 00:35:05
Belo Horizonte Itacolomi Lions Club, Brazil Age 76 | Retired Paralegal/Law Librarian; widowed with three children I volunteer at the Creche Ana Maria de Castro Veado—a day care. The municipality of Belo Horizonte is responsible for it. Members of my club are part of its board. We donated a playroom with a television set. Earlier this year we bought a water tank for the center. This day care is located in a sprawling slum. The mothers need to work. Or some parents are criminals or drug addicts. The kids are here from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. They get breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, classes and learn the basics of hygiene. Everything about children touches me emotionally. They are innocent, needy. We as adults have to take good care of them. Two of my children live near Orlando. I lived there from 1998 to 2005. When I moved back to Brazil, a neighbor in my condo complex invited me to the Lions annual convention in Pocos de Caldas, a town in my home state. I was delighted to be there: the lectures, parade, the activities, the friends I made. On the way back home, still inside the bus, the president of the Belo Horizonte Club invited me to join. A month and a half later, in a solemn ceremony, I became a member. We [club members] do a lot of crafts such as crochet, knitting and embroidery of dish towels. We sell them at our annual bazaar to raise funds for our services. We buy baby clothes for single mothers, toiletries for nursing homes, donate wheelchairs, plant trees. I’m worried about the future of our club. We’re mostly middle class, some upper middle class. We live in nice neighborhoods. The meetings start at 8:30 and finish at midnight. We’re afraid of driving home. Most of us are elderly. Bela Horizonte is the capital of Minas Gerais. There are nearly 3 million people. Public safety is an issue. Assaults and robberies are common. Attendance is declining. When we meet again in January I will try to change the meetings to the afternoon. When we get new members, I ask them to get their children to join. They say their kids are too busy. In the past, Brazilian families might have had maids to take care of their kids. That’s no longer true. But, still, I’m not convinced. I love my Lions friends, my club and Lions Clubs International. What really motivates me is to selflessly serve others. By donating my time, I can contribute to the relief and comfort of those who are suffering.
Published by International Association of Lions Clubs . View All Articles.
This page can be found at http://digital.lionmagazine.org/article/Olga+De+Araujo+Moreira/1859352/233493/article.html.