Communities Impacted by Australian Bush Fires Receive Aid In February 2009, wildfires in the Victoria province of southeast Australia resulted in nearly 200 deaths and destroyed more than 900 homes. To bring much needed aid to the impacted areas, LCIF awarded a US$100,000 Major Catastrophe Grant in addition to US$30,000 total in Emergency Grants. Lions collected, transported and delivered supplies to housing centers for displaced people. Lions collected additional donations for clothing and other relief supplies to distribute. Long-term reconstruction efforts are currently in process. South Asia Tsunami Reconstruction Update LCIF awarded more than US$15 million for long-term reconstruction efforts. Since 2005, Lions have worked with the areas impacted to rebuild more than 4,000 homes, in addition, community and health centers, schools and orphanages have been constructed. Tsunami reconstruction efforts are now complete in Indonesia, Thailand and Sri Lanka, and projects are expected to be completed within the year in India. Katrina Relief Funds Establish LSU-Lions Eye Clinic The Lions Clubs International-Louisiana State University Eye Clinic, funded through an LCIF grant of US$500,000, was dedicated and opened in December 2008. The clinic provides vision care for low income and for patients sponsored by the Lions Clubs of Louisiana. LCIF mobilized more than US$5 million for relief and reconstruction efforts in the area. LCIF Funds Disasters Worldwide During 2008-2009, LCIF awarded nearly US$1.8 million in emergency relief funds. In late summer and early fall of 2008, a number of hurricanes struck the Gulf States, damaging homes, flooding streets and causing people along the coastline to evacuate. LCIF issued several US$10,000 Emergency Grants so Lions could bring food, water and medicine to people affected. In November 2008, floods in southern Brazil left more than 78,000 people displaced. A US$100,000 Major Catastrophe Grant was awarded to fund long-term reconstruction of homes. A deadly earthquake that struck L’Aquila, Italy in April 2009 received immediate response from LCIF and local Lions. A US$10,000 Emergency Grant was allocated for urgent needs. More than 165 other grants were issued by LCIF to fund Lions’ disaster relief efforts around the world. Partnership Celebrates Milestone Since 2000, Lions Clubs have partnered with Special Olympics on the Opening Eyes Program, screening Special Olympics athletes at select games and providing glasses when needed. This year the partnership screened the 100,000th athlete. The Foundation has supported this partnership with more than US$10 million in funding. In February 2009, Opening Eyes provided 450 prescription eyeglasses and sport glasses and 650 sunglasses to athletes at the Special Olympics World Winter Games in Boise, Idaho. Nearly 200 Lions volunteered nearly 1,600 hours for the event, screening 1,100 athletes. Program Offers High Quality, Low-cost Hearing Aids Lions Affordable Hearing Aid Project (AHAP) is a U.S. based pilot program of LCIF that provides high quality, low-cost hearing aids through existing Lions hearing health care networks. The Foundation works with Rexton, Inc., to offer two digital hearing aids at a reduced cost. Through AHAP, local Lions clubs have provided nearly 750 hearing aids since the program was re-launched in April 2007.
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