What do Lions do? You’ve probably been asked that question. But being a Lion is not just about service. It’s a whole lot of little things and some big ones that define us. We have a shared culture, a way of doing things that bonds us and jokes that only we really understand. We become Lions by taking an oath. But we learn to treasure being a Lion as time passes. There is much to love about being a Lion. We could have listed 100 or more— but we ran out of room! 1 Our international character. We’re in more than 200 nations and geographic areas. We’re everywhere. Our summer camps for kids, whether they are blind or deaf or challenged in some other way, bring joy and a sense of belonging to those who often lack both. The Lions logo is one of the world’s most recognizable logos. Lions’ pins are indeed worth collecting. Lions get their hands dirty—and that’s not from writing a check. Our hands-on service sets us apart from other service groups. Our trinkets and tchotchkes, such as this kaleidoscope furnished by Bowie Lions in Maryland as part of their 50th charter night, carry a “wow” factor. The Peace Poster Contest has engaged children worldwide for more than a quarter of a century. 8 Through Youth Exchange, we change the world, dissolving borders and celebrating our common humanity. Vision vans—in a mobile world on the move and in a hurry—Lions say, in effect, we’ll help you stop and “see” the roses. Headquarters in Oak Brook, Illinois: a visit there is as enjoyable as the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown is for a baseball fan. Lions’ special relationship with the United Nations befits an association active across the world. Be sure to attend Lions Day with the UN on March 4th! Leos. Enough said. We’re a little zany, not afraid of indulging our inner child. We sing. Often. Quite well. Or sometimes not well. But sing we do. We hold great meetings. OK, not all the time but often. 16 We’re multigenerational. Many Lions follow in the footsteps of fathers and grandfathers and now mothers and grandmothers as well. Our name. It has legs, so to speak, as well as paws and a mane. What we chose to call ourselves had been visually fortuitous. Helen of Troy may have had a face that launched a thousand ships, but we’ll take our Helen. The incredible [Helen Keller inspired us to be Knights of the Blind](http://lions100.lionsclubs.org/EN/media/touchstone-stories/power-service/06-helen-keller.php), and more than 90 years later we’re still happy to claim her as an inspiration. Our all-state bands bring the benefits of music to youths. We raise puppies. And they become the eyes—and trusted companions—of the blind. Our clubhouses are a home away from home. Baseball for the blind—batter up, even those without sight. We celebrate summer. The carnivals, the parades, the food booths—Lions create great memories for children and parents. Our missions to low-income nations allow us to share our talents and treasures with the less fortunate. In two words, our We Serve motto encapsulates who we are. Lions deter diabetes, a growing scourge. Big cities are cool, and Lions are plentiful there. But we also embrace small towns, where Lions often are a town’s linchpin. A simple concept but what a difference it makes: eyeglass recycling has brought the gift of vision to untold millions. We’re friends with Facebook and other social media. More and more, Lions are denizens of the digital world. Nothing in the world can match the universality of an international convention. If Lions Clubs is one of the world’s greatest ideas, then LCIF, which enables Lions to pool their resources, is a close second. Clean, fresh water in developing nations —made possible by Lions. One of our most cherished partners is Special Olympics, a beneficiary of our commitment to sight. 34 When a disaster strikes, Lions, embedded in communities and knowing needs and people, quickly and effectively respond. We hate measles—really, really hate it, as we work with partners to prevent the deadly disease. We’re best buddies with Boy and Girl Scouts. Lions have twice as much fun as everyone else. We can paint the town Lion. We’re family friendly; meetings and events are often family affairs. We specialize in small acts of kindness. Our blind members serve with amazing passion and energy. We’re good sports, staging wellattended athletic events. Testament to our intrinsic value, those we help often become members. Lions cherish parks, building, equipping and maintaining oases of greenery. We plant trees—acres and acres of them. Though not as prevalent today, Tailtwisters epitomize the fun side of Lions. We love kids. Lions Quest teaches life skills to youths, lessons that alter lives. Cool club names (Bozeman Sweet Pea Lions, Edmonton Jolly Fellows, Dighton Dandelions, etc.) Special interest clubs such as the Honolulu Kapiolani Ballroom Dancers Lions Club demonstrate the versatility of the Lions Clubs’ model. 51 Campus clubs channel the enthusiasm for service among the college-aged. Roadside signs mark our territory. Slurp up this: the kitschy World’s Largest Soup Kettle in Wisconsin is a Lions’ creation. Lions mints not only taste terrific but have enabled countless clubs to make their community a sweeter place. We see the abilities of those with disabilities. Jimmy Carter—his post-presidency humanitarian work exemplifies the Lions’ spirit of service. We put the festive in festivals. Summer or fall would not be the same without the local Lions and their carnival or picnic. SightFirst has brought vision to millions, typically at the cost of a few dollars per person. Lions’ bobbleheads. 55 We surround ourselves with influential, prestigious partners such as the Gates Foundation, the Carter Center, Johnson & Johnson and the World Health Organization. In the kitchen, on the grill or at the fairgrounds, Lions can’t be beat … such as the blackberry slug of Bremerton Central Lions in Washington … The fried oreos of Slidell Noon Lions in Louisiana … And the cake donuts of Bolton Lions in Massachusetts. 64 You—the ordinary, everyday Lion who serves day after day, year after year.
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