Members of the Los Angeles Special Olympics Los Angeles Lions Club partner with Anthem volunteers to pack food for Kids Against Hunger in Cerritos, California. It’s a sunny afternoon in the courtyard of the clean, but modest apartment complex in Miami, and the bright mood of the children matches the weather. With an inflatable haunted castle, face painting stations, a photo booth and loads of pizza, it’s almost hard to tell this is not a children’s birthday party but a community service project. The older children of the volunteers help the young children of the complex decorate face masks and escort them to the photo booth, where they playfully contort and scrunch up their faces. In addition to the fun and games, 34 children, many of whom have never been to an eye doctor, get their vision checked. A dental hygiene demonstration is given for 100 children, who file in line as eagerly for the free dental kits as they do for the treat bags. The volunteers are Lions and employees of Anthem Inc. They’re here lending many hands to the Chapman Partnership, a comprehensive housing, counseling, health and employment training facility. Its programs empower men, women and families to overcome poverty and homelessness. The Chapman Partnership was just one of more than 30 community service projects hosted as part of the 2016 Lions Anthem Volunteer Days, a nationwide service campaign co-hosted by Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF), Lions clubs, Leos and volunteers from Anthem. Together, Lions and Anthem volunteers in 19 cities tackled projects ranging from park cleanups to food packing and tree planting. The two-month service campaign resulted in nearly 1,200 Anthem volunteers and their family and friends joining more than 500 Lions to donate more than 5,500 hours to Volunteer Days projects. In total, more than 30 separate Lions clubs hosted projects in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, New York, Ohio and Virginia. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, Anthem Inc. is one of the nation’s largest health insurance and benefits companies. With more than 50,000 associates serving more than 38 million members, Anthem has a long history of service and corporate social responsibility in their communities. Leading up to the Volunteer Days campaign, Lions clubs worked with local Anthem offices to identify needs specific to their communities and develop appropriate service projects. As part of the partnership, Anthem Foundation awarded a $250,000 grant to LCIF to support Anthem Volunteer Days projects as well as year-round health and wellness projects, disability-inclusive playgrounds and local food pantries. “At Anthem we are committed to supporting community initiatives that help create a healthier generation of Americans,” says Lance Chrisman, executive director of Anthem Foundation. “We’re proud to join forces with LCIF and the hard-working Lions who are serving throughout the country to improve the communities we all call home.” “This partnership is a great example of what can be achieved when partners work together to strengthen their local communities,” says LCIF Chairperson Dr. Jitsuhiro Yamada.
Published by International Association of Lions Clubs . View All Articles.
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