INDIA Mysterious Donor Helps Hospital The mysterious caller never disclosed his identity. Or explained why he wanted to provide the Lions’ hospital with several dialysis machines. He even became angry when a Lion suggested he should be the special guest at a ceremony unveiling the machines; instead the unknown benefactor berated Lions for not planning to immediately use the machines as a fitting end to the ceremony. The donor’s last contact with Lions about his initial donation in 2012 was just as mysterious as his first. When Lions emailed him photos of the ceremony, a response came back: “I thank you for giving me a chance to be of service of mankind. This email will be deactivated today.” The LNM Lions Hospital in Bhuj has the motto “for the people, by the people.” Thanks to the 11 donated new dialysis machines, worth more than an estimated US$1 million, the hospital is able to meet patients’ needs. It has done 57,500 dialysis treatments since 2006. The telephone calls from the unknown benefactor four years ago came to Past District Governor Bharat Mehta, the hospital administrator. Mehta told the caller five machines were needed. He had agreed to forward the reports on the hospital’s dialysis treatments even while the two spoke on the phone. “He was impressed that it took less than a minute,” recounts Mehta. “He observed that this meant we hadn’t edited or altered the reports to our advantage in any way.” The dialysis machines at the Lions’ hospital are in constant use. The hospital began with two dialysis machines in 2006 and eventually acquired 27, but 12 were discarded as they aged. Mehta said the Lions “would have been overjoyed to receive even just one more dialysis machine” from the unknown benefactor. Instead, five machines were delivered from Germany within 15 days of the benefactor’s call. Three years later, in 2015, after another brief phone call from the benefactor, six more machines arrived. “This is a true story,” says Mehta, who shakes his head in wonder at how odd and wonderful the story is. He still knows nothing about the donor, other that he is religious. The last email from him read: “God bless you all. May God bless you and your team with the strength to continue to be of service to the poor and needy.” The Lions’ float was decorated with 13,000 flowers. SWITZERLAND Teamwork Blooms Between Clubs For 60 years the Fête des Narcisses was an iconic spring event in the Riviera district until it ended in 1957. The Feast of Narcissus celebrated the blooming of the narcissus, known as the “May snow” for its brilliant appearance on hillsides. Last year, with the help of two disparate Lions clubs, the festival returned after a hiatus of 58 years. The Montreux and Riviera-Chablais Lions clubs entered a flower-strewn float in the colorful parade and hosted a food booth. Founded in 1951, the Montreux club, located where the famous jazz festival is held, is all-male. The Riviera- Chablais club, chartered just two years ago, is all-female. The clubs worked side-by-side to help make the festival a success. They served croissants and Highland beef raised in the heights of Montreux and roasted on a spit for 14 hours. More than 500 patrons dined on the beef. SWEDEN Youth Camp Houses Refugees A Lions youth camp in Sweden was recently canceled. But there were few complaints. Lions decided the camp was needed to house refugees from Syria and Afghanistan. As many as 80 refugees will live at Lions Green Camp, located about 75 miles southwest of Stockholm. The living quarters are spacious and clean with a kitchen, dining room, showers and a washing machine and dryer. The Swedish government had urged its citizens to accommodate the stream of refugees pouring into Sweden, which welcomed 160,000 refugees in 2015. “It gave Sweden and its towns an enormous challenge,” says Lion Mats Granath, chairperson of Youth Camp and Exchange in Sweden. “We don’t know how long they will stay [at the Green Camp]. It depends if they get permanent permission to stay in Sweden.” Fifty youths from 29 nations were scheduled to stay at the camp. Most youths should be able to sign up for another youth camp elsewhere, says Granath. “We’re sorry for their situation, but Swedish Lions are convinced we are doing the right thing,” says Granath. “This is Lionism—helping people.” Extra Digital Content Youth Camp and Exchange has benefited youths for generations—read how Virginia teenagers experienced foreign customs and cultures in 1998 (February 1998 LION).
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