Earlier this month, Anne and I had the opportunity to attend the kick-off for the Special Olympics World Games, which will take place in 2015. We always have so much fun at Special Olympic events because there is a spirit of unity in the air that is just like the spirit of Lions clubs! It was during this event that Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) continued our support for Special Olympics as announced during the African Leaders Forum on Disability earlier this year.
Whether Lions are working with our partners or working locally in communities, you do a world of good, and LCIF is there to help you. Our Foundation recently approved almost US$10 million in SightFirst and Lions Quest grants for projects around the world. In addition to these grants, LCIF continues to support humanitarian projects and disaster relief efforts.
Just a few weeks ago, China was hit with a terrible earthquake. More than 600 people died because of the disaster and a large number of people were injured. What made the situation even worse was that more than 40,000 homes were damaged or destroyed! That means more than 40,000 families are in need of help. I am proud that Lions are there to help them.
LCIF immediately issued a US$250,000 Major Catastrophe Grant through the Disaster Relief Fund, allowing Lions to provide food, water, blankets, medicine and other necessities to people in need. With clubs in more than 200 countries, LCIF is ready to help whenever Lions or their communities are in need, regardless of their location. The road to recovery can be a long one, but Lions will be there for as long as needed while homes are rebuilt and communities are put back together in China.
I want to thank you for your support and your concern.
Barry J. Palmer
Chairperson, Lions Clubs International Foundation
*photo courtesy of Special Olympics Inc.