Right now all over the world, there are children who are sick with a fever, runny nose, swollen eyes and cough. Over time, a rash appears. This is no ordinary childhood sickness. This is measles, and it can be deadly. Parents throughout the world experience their child becoming sick with measles just because they do not have access to a simple preventative vaccine.
I’ve always believed that one person can make a difference, but that by acting together, we are able to do so much more. Last year, I challenged you to plant one million trees. You not only met that challenge, you exceeded it by planting 10 million trees. October will mark the anniversary of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s challenge to Lions — raise US$10 million to help eliminate measles to be matched by the Gates Foundation with US$5 million. I not only believe that we will meet their challenge in the coming months, I believe that we can exceed it. This year, we will help millions of children around the world and confirm why the Gates Foundation knows we are such valuable partners.
Thanks to many generous Lions, donations to the One Shot, One Life: Lions Measles Initiative have reached more than US$5 million. But, Lions and LCIF are just halfway to our goal. There is still work to be done.
Measles kills hundreds of children each day. Many others suffer from severe complications, including blindness, brain damage and hearing loss. With an inexpensive vaccine made possible by the Measles Initiative, Lions have the power to ensure that children around the world have access to a healthier childhood through a simple vaccination.
When we believe, nothing is impossible. It’s time to get involved.
Chairperson, Lions Clubs International Foundation