The International Association of Lions Clubs was created in 1917 by a Chicago businessman named Melvin Jones. The International Association of Lions Clubs is today the largest service organization in the world with over 1,4 million members in more than 42,000 clubs in 701 Districts covering 178 countries and geographic areas.
Lions Clubs are not social clubs, although there are social benefits to membership. Lions Club members give their time, skills and resources to raise funds for charitable giving both in their communities and internationally.
The major focus of Lions fund raising activities is sight conservation, although other projects are pursued such as drug awareness programs in high schools, diabetes awareness programs and other programs that are specific to individual Clubs and Districts.
Lions took up sight conservation as their major goal
after a speech given by Helen Keller at the
Lions International Convention held at Cedar Point, Ohio, in 1925. At that time, Helen
Keller challenged the Lions to become "Knights of the Blind", a challenge that
has become a rallying
Lions work in the area of sight conservation is carried out at many levels. Individual Clubs sponsor free eye screening programs using mobile eye clinics. In many countries, Clubs sponsor eye surgery camps where cataract surgeries are performed at no charge for those that can't afford this medical care. Many clubs collect old eye glasses for distribution to the needy in other countries.
The International Association of Lions Clubs is the
largest non-governmental organization associated with the United Nations and was called
upon by the United Nations and the World Health Organization to raise funds for an
international program of sight conservation. It has
The International Association of Lions Clubs began a
program of fund raising that they called "Campaign Sight First" in order to
cure/prevent 40 million cases of blindness worldwide. Over $148,600,000 have been raised
by Lions all over the world for this program. Eye hospitals are
Lions services to humanity range from purchasing eyeglass for a child who's parents can't afford them to multimillion dollar programs to cure blindness on a worldwide scale.
The Lions International Headquarters is in Oak Brook,
Illinois, USA. You can contact Lions Clubs International as follows:
Lions Clubs International