Thanks to Lions, LCIF’s Grants Top $1 Billion Mark Pregnant and suffering from trichiasis, a dangerous eye condition, Mariam, a young woman in Chad, was not sure she could take proper care of her baby. However, thanks to Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF), her eye problem was corrected shortly after giving birth. Mariam’s happy outcome is just one of millions from LCIF’s first half century. This particular year marks a historic milestone for Lions and LCIF. In January, the LCIF Board of Trustees approved grants that put LCIF over the US$1 billion mark. Since its founding in 1968, LCIF has awarded more than 13,000 grants. Millions of people around the world have been given hope and comfort in their times of need. LCIF restored sight for parents who could not see their children. It rebuilt communities devastated by earthquakes and wildfires. It fed hungry children and empowered youth to become healthy, productive adults. With the support of LCIF, Lions built water wells and latrines that are helping to control the spread of blinding diseases. People who were once hidden from the world because of a disbility, denied education and companionship, now attend school and contribute to their communities. This US$1 billion has shown the world that Lions care and LCIF helps. The first grant LCIF ever awarded was disbursed to the community of Rapid City, South Dakota, after a catastrophic flood. The year was 1972. Due to conditions that the National Weather Service says only happen once every 100 years, a storm hovered over the Black Hills and sent down disastrous amounts of rain. More than 200 people lost their lives to the floods, and more than 5,000 people lost their homes. LCIF awarded US$5,000 to help the community rebuild. Lions were among the first on the scene to provide help to the devastated community, beginning a legacy continued today. Since then, LCIF has provided funds to projects all over the world. Communities are supported both around the globe and around the corner. LCIF’s four major areas of focus—sight, youth, disaster and humanitarian efforts—have ensured help goes to the areas most critically in need of assistance. “ When I was told that a [trichiasis] surgery camp would be organized, I was pregnant,” says Miriam, a young woman from Chad. “Two days after the delivery, I decided to get the operation and my husband brought me to the health center on our donkey. Now my eye doesn’t make me suffer, and I can take care of my baby. ” Lions and LCIF have accomplished great things by working together, but there is still so much that needs to be done. As Lions and LCIF begin a new century of service, we will focus our efforts on supporting the new global service framework: diabetes, the environment, hunger relief, pediatric cancer and vision. As our world continues to change, we must change with it to address new concerns and best serve our communities and future generations. Lions can get involved by supporting LCIF. Whether you make a donation or join a service project, you can make a difference both locally and globally. Talk to your club’s LCIF Coordinator for information on how you can support LCIF. With continued support from Lions, LCIF can make a positive change for those who need it.
Published by International Association of Lions Clubs . View All Articles.
This page can be found at http://digital.lionmagazine.org/article/Foundation+Impact/2832400/423323/article.html.