Photo by Othmar Fetz THEY NEED THE HELP OF LIONS TO REACH THEIR POTENTIAL THERE’S ALWAYS SOMEONE. A teacher who challenged you to think about your world differently. A Scout leader who encouraged you to follow and inspired you to lead. A coach who not only taught you how to play, but also how to play as a team. Someone who made a difference in your life. A caring adult can ignite a spark in a young person’s life, expanding horizons and instilling values that help define who we are. Lions are in an ideal position to be that someone who makes a difference by inspiring the next generation of volunteers. Young people today want to make the world a better place, but they need opportunities to get involved and experienced volunteers like you to help them. Youth bring new ideas, new skills and new energy to projects. They’re capable. And they’re up for a challenge. So give them a voice in planning projects and a meaningful role in service, and you’ll be amazed at their contributions. And we need them to contribute. Young people are the future of service. And Lions, that’s why engaging youth in service is a key component of our new global service framework. When you invite young people to join us in service, you’ll do more than inspire them to change the world—you’ll give them a chance to do it with your club. Keep reading to find out how clubs are already getting young people involved. 55 Percent of U. S. Youth Volunteer INSPIRING THE NEXT GENERATION OF VOLUNTEERS IS MORE THAN AN OPPORTUNITY. IT’S A RESPONSIBILITY. READY TO SERVE LIONS GOT YOUNG PEOPLE INVOLVED THEN WATCHED THEM CHANGE THE WORLD. FAMILY TIES: SETTING A LIONS’ EXAMPLE Whether it was the pork barbecue, the chicken supper or “walking the road ditch”— the roadside cleanup of trash, the three girls of Mike and Cheri Appel lent their six hands to Lions’ projects. “When you live in a small community [Milroy, Minnesota, population 252], your help is needed. We taught them it’s important to volunteer,” says Cheri. Now that the girls are grown they continue to work Lions’ projects—as Lions. Carrie Shofner, 40, lives in town and belongs to her parents’ club. She was not only the “first member of the club to have a baby,” as her mom likes to say, but also the first female president. She’s now a zone chairperson. Meghan Thull, 38, is the vice president of the Oak Grove Lions in Minnesota. Amber, 36, is a Milroy Lion. The Appels exemplify the notion that immersing one’s children in Lions or service could very well result in a second generation of Lions. Or even a third. The four grandchildren attend Lions’ events and, age permitting, help out. All of which makes the Appel adults proud—proud enough to proclaim it to the world. Cheri was at a mall in Minneapolis with two grandchildren. One wore a T-shirt that read “My grandmother is a Lion.” The other’s said “My dad is a Lion.” Don’t think people don’t notice. “We must have had a dozen people stop us and ask, ‘Where did you get those shirts?’” YOUTH ARE MORE THAN JUST VOLUNTEERS. THEY CAN BE PARTNERS AND LEADERS IN SERVICE. INVOLVING YOUTHS IN SERVICE PAYS DIVIDENDS The thoughts of California youths in spring turn to the summer, the beach and, oh yeah, completing the service hours required by their high schools. “We use that to our advantage,” says Santa Monica Lion Susan DeRemer, region chairperson. Teenagers volunteered in March at Lions Eyes Across California (left photo), chiefl y a statewide eyeglass collection. It was no accident that youths sought out Lions. In the fall DeRemer met with administrators at nine high schools to let them know about Lions-related service opportunities. Lions in California actually involve youth in service yearround. Since 1955, when the fundraiser began, the children served by the Boys and Girls Clubs of Santa Monica have worked alongside Lions at their pancake breakfast. Youths stuff diaper bags and backpacks for two of the club’s other projects. To encourage service the club also sponsors the Lions Young Leaders in Service Awards, a Lions Clubs International program. The outreach to youth serves a dual purpose—not only exposing them to service but to a service club. As savvy and knowledgeable as youths can be, groups like the Lions often are unknown to them. “They get the idea of what service means. And they get to know a service club. They’ll say to us, ‘What’s a service club?’ We tell them,” says DeRemer. California Lions want to form more Leo clubs. Attracting Leos also may lead to membership gains. “Their parents are younger than the average Lion,” says DeRemer. Lions serve as an example for youths, but that works both ways. “Lions get really excited when they hear [through the Service Awards] about what the kids have done,” says DeRemer. “They’re all ready to serve. It’s kind of like the ‘circle of service.’” LEOS CHANNEL VIRTUES OF YOUTHS Spoiling a beautiful beach, garbage washes ashore from the sea near the Philippine capital of Manila. More than 20 Pasig Achievers Leos help schoolchildren clean the beach (above photo). In Singapore, Medan Stallion Leos help children plant trees at orphanages, and Singapore Alumni Leos travel with Lions to provide medical care to those who live deep in the jungles of Borneo. Worldwide, often partnering with Lions, Leos tackle a wide range of projects that help people immediately or ensure opportunities for future generations. “Leos wake up the young generation to take action toward a green and more sustainable world,” says Anderson Liongosari, 23, past president of the Medan club. Leos and Lions working together are a win-win, says Liongosari. Both grow when Lions give Leos an opportunity to lead, he says. There are an estimated 174,000 Leos in 6,942 clubs in 144 nations. “We need to get Lions of the world to realize Leos are the farm teams of Lions and get almost every club to start a Leo club,” says Past District Governor Ed Lydon of the Surprise Lions in Arizona. SIX | WAYS TO SERVE TOGETHER YOUNG PEOPLE WANT TO SERVE. HERE’S HOW THEY CAN DO IT WITH YOUR CLUB. 1 PROVIDE LIFE SKILLS TO STUDENTS THROUGH LIONS QUEST The Lions Quest program teaches young people important life skills in the classroom, such as communicating effectively, setting goals and making healthy decisions. And service learning is an important part of the curriculum. Lions sponsor teacher training for this highly effective, educational program. 2 BEAUTIFY YOUR LOCAL PARK, TOGETHER Reach out to your local middle or high school and solicit ideas from students for improving and beautifying the area park. Give them a role in planning the project and enlist their support in planting flowers, mulching garden beds and installing new benches. 3 COLLECT FOOD, CLOTHES OR BOOKS FOR NEEDY FAMILIES Partner with young people to collect basic necessities for those in need. Young people can go out in the community and collect the food, clothes or books and be the ones who distribute these items to needy families or to local organizations that work with them. 4 HOST A LOCAL YOUTH SERVICE SYMPOSIUM Invite youth community clubs like Scouts or student groups to present service projects they’ve completed at an upcoming club meeting or a special event. Recognize their achievements and offer to collaborate with these young leaders on a future project. 5 DEVELOP GLOBAL CITIZENS WITH THE LIONS YOUTH CAMP AND EXCHANGE Young people have the opportunity to experience life in other cultures and gain an exciting global perspective of the world through travel abroad. When they attend Lions camps, they learn about other cultures, serve in communities around the world, develop lifelong friendships and have fun. 6 GET KIDS INVOLVED IN THE PEACE POSTER CONTEST This contest allows 11- to 13-year-old children to showcase their talent and share their visions of peace. Posters will be entered in an international competition, and the grand prize winner will receive $5,000 and a trip to a special award ceremony. Order a Peace Poster kit to play a key role in engaging youth and promoting peace. LEOS MAKE SERVING FUN! Ready to take youth engagement to the next level? Sponsor a Leo club. The Leo Club Program gives young people, ages 12 to 30, the opportunity to serve, develop leadership skills, make new friends and have fun. Leos are service leaders who plan and manage projects, bringing new service to the community and increasing the impact of their sponsoring Lions club. Leos really stand for something: Leadership, Experience and Opportunity Starting a new Leo club is a great opportunity to foster a lifetime commitment to helping others and develop the next generation of service leaders. Sponsor a Leo club today! leoclubs.org Extra Digital Content Watch two innovative recruitment videos created by German and French Leos.
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