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News Release

Media Contact:
Nicole Brown
Communications Manager, LCIF

Lions, LCIF Providing Relief in New Zealand 

(Updated March 8, 2011)Chairperson Wirfs surveys the damage in Christchurch

Lions and Lions Clubs International Foundation are providing relief following a devastating earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand. LCIF has awarded US$110,000 to aid Lions in their relief efforts. US$10,000 is being used for immediate emergency relief supplies and a US$100,000 major catastrophe grant will assist with longer-term efforts.

"Right now Margit and I are in Christchurch, New Zealand, to meet with Lions and view their current relief efforts. I have been sharing with them the e-mails I've received from Lions around the world who are pledging their support, expressing their sympathies and thanking Lions in New Zealand for their efforts," said Chairperson Eberhard J. Wirfs.

Chairperson Wirfs also met with the Chief Executive and President of Red Cross New Zealand Penny Mason. "We needed help and knew of Lions work. We called and they responded immediately," she said.

a destroyed house in ChristchurchMany Lions have personally been impacted by the disaster, yet they are giving their time and service to help their neighbors. "At an emergency meeting of the Earthquake Committee last night, I spoke to one Lion who had damage to his house, his place of work was closed, he had no power, water or sewerage connections yet was still attending a Lions meeting to see how he could assist the citizens of Christchurch," said Past International Director Ron Luxton.

On February 22, a magnitude 6.3 earthquake devastated Christchurch, New Zealand, killing at least 149 and injuring hundreds more, with these numbers expected to increase.  Thousands have been left homeless. Clean drinking water has been compromised and more than 60 aftershocks have been recorded since the initial quake.

Lions Clubs International Foundation is committed to aiding communities affected by natural disasters.  LCIF is in close communication with the Lions of District 202-E. Local Lions responded immediately to this crisis by securing and distributing large supplies of bottled water throughout Christchurch and the surrounding suburbs. District Governor Raewyn Clearwater indicated that, “the people were so grateful to the Lions for the water, that many of the residents wanted to help pay for the costs … [they] were so moved that, although affected themselves, Lions were helping out the people of the city.”

In the past week Lions services include:

Lions and donor can help support Lions in New Zealand in their relief efforts by making a dedicated donation to the  “New Zealand Earthquake 2011” fund. The 48th OSEAL Forum Commihas has donated US$10,000 to help these relief efforts, and Multiple District 330, Japan, has donated US$15,686.

Donors can:    

For questions regarding donations, please contact LCIF at donorassistance@lionsclubs.org or (630) 203-3836. Board policy states that designated funds are not eligible for Melvin Jones Fellowship credit. Donors wishing to receive Melvin Jones Fellowship credit may instead wish to consider making a donation to the LCIF general fund. Un-designated donations for MJFs and PMJFs make up as much as 80 percent of the donations to the Foundation's General Fund, which supports Standard Grants, Emergency Grants and Major Catastrophe Grants. 

Donations from U.S. residents are tax deductible. Donations from individuals living outside of the United States are tax deductible as permitted by the individual's country tax laws.

Although LCIF is not equipped to handle material donations, please feel free to use the Lion-2-Lion Resource Assistance Database (Lion-2-Lion Assistance) to make donations of this sort directly to the Lions in need.

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Lions Clubs International Foundation is the charitable arm of Lions Clubs International, the largest service club organization in the world with 1.35 million members in 207 geographic areas and countries. Annually, LCIF awards approximately US$2 million in emergency grant funding, in addition to additional grant funding for major catastrophes. LCIF was ranked by a Financial Times' study as the number one non-governmental organization with which to partner. Learn more about LCIF online at www.lcif.org.

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