The Longswamp Lions Club in Pennsylvania sold 114 trees as a holiday fundraiser and donated food and fruit baskets to five families. Lions additionally distributed $4,850 to local and state organizations. The New Maryland Lions Club in New Brunswick, Canada, gave a helping hand to more than 170 families by sponsoring its 18th annual toy and food drive. The club has made the holidays brighter for more than 2,500 families since the project began. They collect toys and non-perishables at designated stops in the city’s downtown using a sleigh float with a Lion dressed as Santa riding atop it. Brentwood Lions in California sponsored a breakfast to raise funds to buy and ship relief supplies to medical professionals fighting the Ebola outbreak in Africa. The Mombasa Bahari Lions Club in Kenya gave reference books and magazines to nursery school teachers for their classes. The learning materials were donated by a school class to Lions for distribution. Cat in the Hat Melody Bailey (above) of the Murfreesboro Noon Lions Club in Tennessee reads to students, some of whom sport their own Cindy Lou Who ’do from The Grinch Who Stole Christmas tale. Reading to children isn’t a new project for Lions. Several Noon Lions individually head out to schools to read to children on either a weekly or monthly basis to encourage literacy. Celebrating what would have been Dr. Seuss’s 110th birthday last March 2, Lions got into the spirit of the day along with children, teachers and staff, many of whom were costumed as Dr. Seuss characters. The Christiansburg Lions Club in Virginia sponsored a holiday craft show that featured 150 vendors and raised $12,000. Lions also performed vision screenings with the club’s new Spot screener purchased in cooperation with the Blacksburg Lions Club. Min Elders, of the Cherry Hill Pennsauken Korean Lions Club in New Jersey, volunteered on Thanksgiving Day helping to host dinner for hundreds of active members of the military and their families, and veterans, some of whom are homeless. The dinner was held aboard the Battleship New Jersey, permanently docked at the Camden waterfront as a nonprofit museum. “Oh, my gosh, we had so much fun and the vets were really happy. Everybody had stories to tell,” she says. The meal was accompanied by entertainment, and was sponsored by several organizations. The Northeast Pennsylvania Lions Eye Bank gave a $25,000 donation to the Pennsylvania Lions Sight Conservation and Eye Research Foundation. Norton Lions in Virginia donated 180 large boxes of food to families in need. One box feeds a family of five for two weeks. Lions sponsor fundraising events throughout the year to purchase provisions and new toys for children to distribute during the holidays. Port Washington Lions in New York are selling a calendar featuring members of the community’s police and fire departments in action. All donations received for the calendar are being given to the families of two recently slain New York City police officers. In Illinois, members of the Brook-port Lions Club served holiday meals to 250 residents whose homes were damaged or lost to a tornado that devastated the area. The Boardman Lions Club in Ohio earned more than a $1,000 from a garage sale. Funds will be used to buy coats for children in need and be donated to Project Linus, a local charity that provides quilts to children in hospitals. The Spokane Central Lions Club in Washington adopted a local elementary school and entertained 23 second-graders at a holiday lunch. The children were entertained by a magician and received a gift purchased from each child’s wish list for Santa. Moore Haven Lions in Florida (above) gave away wooden toys to children in need during the holidays after they asked an instructor of a woodworking class at a local correctional institution for help. Inmates made more than 100 toys for distribution by Lions. Three-year-old Lorelei Maxwell received a stuffed lion toy from the Portland North Bay Lions in Texas as a thank-you for helping to distribute dictionaries and pencils to third graders. The club gave more than 300 dictionaries to classes when school started in the fall. Her mother, Lion Dianna Hamilton, says Lorelei has been helping Lions “since she could walk.” The Wasaga Beach Lions Club in Ontario, Canada, donated $6,000 to the Lions Foundation of Oakville to sponsor a canine vision dog. The Waseca Lions Club in Minnesota once again provided dictionaries to about 175 third-graders. Lions have distributed approximately 1,500 reference books for personal use to children at the beginning of each school year. Meg Healas (above) of the Everett Central Lions in Washington suggests a free book from the Lions Giving Library. Lions sponsored the club’s first “Eye Love to Read” project at a children’s museum and gave free books they continually collect to children to promote literacy. Reading assistance dogs from Reading with Rover were also there as well as an optometrist and volunteers to provide vision screenings. The Jennings Lions Club in Louisiana gave a magnifying device to an 8-year-old boy who suffered a stroke that affected his vision. American Canyon Lions in California gave a $500 donation to member Arvind Nischal to support his project of providing more than 600 pairs of shoes and socks to schoolchildren in a remote area of northern India. Nischal personally made the delivery of footwear to students after raising $4,000 to purchase the items. The Bowling Green Evening Lions Club in Kentucky donated $6,500 to the Bowling Green Boys and Girls Club to pay for a security fence surrounding the property. Security had become an issue with children being unable to fully use the club outside area so the fence will make the area safer for youngsters. Lions clubs in District 60 A partnered with the Trinidad and Tobago Blind Welfare Association to celebrate World Sight Day. Lions gave nearly 40 telescopic white canes to visually impaired residents. The Mancos, Colorado, Lions Club was named “Citizen of the Year” by the town of Mancos. The club was chosen for its many community contributions including an annual health fair that serves more than 500 residents and a scholarship program for graduating seniors. The Laona Lions Club donated 36 deer hearts to the raptor rehabilitation center in Antigo, Wisconsin. The organs provide needed protein for the injured birds to mend. The club starts collecting in them when the fall hunting season begins. The Northwest Lions Eyeglass Recycling Center received nearly 1,000 pair of eyeglasses collected by Carter Ernst as part of his project to earn the rank of Eagle Scout in Troop 406 in Kent, Washington. Under the guidance of Lacey Sunrise Lion Bill Miller and his grandfather Emerson Bishop, a Sumner Lion, Ernst collected the glasses by going door-to-door with assistance from some of his fellow Scouts. Scouts then visited the recycling center in Lacey to separate, clean and process the glasses for shipment. The Johannesburg Glenoaks Lions Club in South Africa gave a high-tech electronic baby training unit to a volunteer community ambulance service. The US$4,000 unit is now being used to train paramedics to diagnose medical problems in emergencies. The McKeesport Lions Club in Pennsylvania sponsored a fundraiser pasta dinner and concert to raise funds for a new power wheelchair and hydraulic lift for a local resident. Fenton Lions in Michigan celebrated Arbor Day in April by distributing seedlings to fourth-graders at five elementary schools. Each school also received a tree donated by a nursery to plant during a program that Lions have sponsored for three years to publicize Arbor Day’s history and importance. They estimate that they’ve given more than 1,000 seedlings to children. Several Lions clubs in Illinois united to purchase a new bus for SEASPAR, which provides year-round recreational services for individuals with disabilities in their communities. The $48,000 to purchase the bus was raised by Lions in Clarendon Hills, Darien, Westmont, Downers Grove and Lisle. The Grantsville, West Virginia, Lions Club assisted local churches in unloading and distributing six tons of food at the Community Food Pantry. More than 350 families were helped. The Springfield Lions Club in Tennessee sponsored its 78th annual variety show, raising more than $7,000 for service activities. The Meenambakkam Lions Club in Chennai, India, took 800 children to a 3D movie. Lions arranged for transportation and paid for snacks for the children during the film party.
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