On her 16th birthday, Brooklyn Driver earned her driver’s license. At 17, she was captain of her tennis team. While still in her teens, she backpacked across five European countries and became a passionate painter and skilled trap shooter. Not easy for the Lafayette, Tennessee, USA, native who at age 18 months was diagnosed with eye complications including strabismus, myopia and lazy eye, and who was told she’d never drive a car, play sports or function as a normal child because of her vision.
Thanks to Lions, Driver overcame all of these obstacles. For 10 years, she attended monthly appointments at the Tennessee Lions Eye Center at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital in nearby Nashville and performed daily eye therapy at home. “Without the influence and help of Lions, I’d never have accomplished so much and seen the world,” said Driver. “Lions Clubs International Foundation made the little things in life matter, changed my life forever and made the seemingly impossible a reality.”
In LCIF’s rich 50-year history, Lions have steadily received grants from their global foundation…
Global Foundation, Local Impact
In many communities, Lions are best known for their service to individuals with blindness or other visual impairments. But Lions’ role in success stories like Driver’s isn’t unique, as their work expands far beyond the realm of vision and sight. In fact, Lions are dedicated to providing comfort and care to the most vulnerable and at-risk world citizens in all these areas:
- Disaster Relief
- Humanitarian Efforts
- Childhood Cancer
- The Environment
There’s a world in need, and where there’s a need, there’s a Lion. There’s also Lions Clubs International Foundation – LCIF – empowering the service of 1.4-plus million Lions globally through grant funding of life-changing initiatives that deliver hope and healing to hundreds of millions more.
Lions and LCIF: the Power of We
Mission-driven since 1968, LCIF has awarded more than US$1 billion in grants – funding made possible through generous support from Lions; corporate, government and foundation partners; and others passionate about serving those negatively impacted by disease, disaster and other devastation. In LCIF’s rich 50-year history, Lions have steadily received grants from their global foundation to provide service for:
- Saving Sight
- 9.1 million cataract surgeries performed
- 270 million treatments for river blindness administered
- 3 million ophthalmologists and other health workers trained
- Transforming Children’s Lives
- 17-plus million students in more than100 countries accessed positive learning environments through Lions Quest
- Providing Disaster Relief
- US$130 million to fulfill immediate needs such as food, water and clothing, as well as to fund long-term reconstruction of homes and vital public facilities, in response to natural disasters
- Saving Lives
- 110 million doses of measles or measles rubella vaccines procured
Impressive, yes. But there’s more to do. And LCIF’s current capital fundraising initiative, Campaign 100: LCIF Empowering Service, will ensure Lions have critical funding to:
- Increase service impact in vision, youth, disaster relief and humanitarian efforts.
- Fight diabetes.
- Expand global causes to include childhood cancer, hunger and the environment.
When You Know More, You Do More
When Lions see a need, they serve. It’s at their core. It’s what they know. It’s what they do. As Lions embark on their second century of service, they see a world in need and the world of good that can be done by both doing and donating.
We know more, so we do more to Increase Service Impact
Lions and LCIF have already made tremendous strides in the areas of vision, youth, disaster relief and humanitarian efforts.
Vision: Through Campaign 100, LCIF will lead the global charge to rid the world of infectious blindness, reduce avoidable blindness and visual impairment, and improve overall quality of life by providing services to people who are blind or visually impaired.
Nearly 75 percent of vision impairments are preventable or curable, often for mere dollars. Take a look at Lions’ long-standing commitment to eye health and eye care worldwide.
Youth: Through Campaign 100, we’ll serve youth through improved access to quality education, vital health services, inclusive social and recreational opportunities, and positive development programs.
One of those development programs is Lions Quest. Our signature youth program, Lions Quest is based on the concept of social and emotional learning (SEL) and promotes positive school learning environments.
Today, Lions Clubs International is a world leader in SEL, with Lions Quest impacting 17-plus million students through more than 600,000 educators in over 100 countries. Visit lions-quest.org to discover more about this impact.
Disaster Relief: Through Campaign 100, LCIF will deeply engage in disaster relief efforts and in preparing for, and responding to, natural disasters when and where they strike, providing for short-term relief and long-term recovery of communities around the world.
Natural disasters can be profoundly destructive, leaving in their wake a trail of injury, death and economic loss. Approximately 90,000 people die each year as a result of natural disasters, and another 160 million are negatively impacted by them. The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction anticipates these numbers will only escalate, with 15 percent more disaster events occurring each year.
Since 1970, LCIF has invested US$130 million in disaster-related grants, and we’ll continue to empower the service of Lions, who help communities recover.
Humanitarian Efforts: Through Campaign 100, LCIF will sponsor and deliver programs addressing the distinct needs of at-risk and vulnerable populations such as the elderly, the disabled, females, orphans and others disproportionately impacted by social and economic factors and requiring special services.
Humanitarian service remains at the heart of our work. Campaign 100 will allow Lions to continue undertaking an extensive range of humanitarian projects, including those related to eliminating measles and rubella; empowering those with disabilities; and supporting at-risk and vulnerable populations through innovative programs.
We know more, so we do more to Fight Diabetes
Diabetes: Through Campaign 100, LCIF will be a major part of the response to the global epidemic of diabetes, helping prevent this devastating disease through comprehensive health initiatives. One of the fastest-growing epidemics, diabetes is a leading cause of death worldwide, a leading cause of blindness and visual impairment, and the sixth leading cause of death among women.
Through Campaign 100, LCIF will fund large-scale diabetes prevention, management and awareness service projects, empowering Lions service toward reducing diabetes’ prevalence and improving quality of life for those diagnosed through investment in:
- Conducting large-scale screening activities combined with comprehensive follow-up care.
- Enhancing existing diabetes camps, retreats and symposiums.
- Expanding health facility infrastructure to increase patient access to services.
- Providing human resource training and capacity building.
We know more, so we do more to Expand Our Global Causes
Childhood Cancer: Through Campaign 100, LCIF will strengthen medical and social services, increasing the global life expectancy of children with cancer, and enhancing quality of life for them and their families.
Every two minutes, a child is diagnosed with cancer. The average diagnosis age is six. While the survival rate in high-income countries is 80 percent, children in low- and middle-income countries, which represent roughly 60 percent of children with cancer worldwide, may have survival chances of only 10 to 20 percent. Fueled by Campaign 100, we plan to expand successful projects to increase childhood cancer diagnosis, treatment and survival rates, empowering Lions service through investment in initiatives such as:
- Improving or establishing child oncology services in developing countries.
- Major medical and lab equipment for pediatric cancer screenings, treatment and research.
- Vehicles enabling families to get to medical appointments.
- Construction services and equipment for communal lodging families use during treatment, and for camp facilities serving pediatric cancer patients.
Hunger: Through Campaign 100, LCIF will work toward a world in which no one goes hungry, expanding resources and infrastructure needed to address food shortages around the world.
Hunger remains a critical and urgent challenge, particularly for children. Campaign 100 will enable us to improve food access by:
- Investing in infrastructure and improved transportation systems that increase capacity of food banks, feeding centers and distribution facilities.
- Supplying commercial refrigeration and freezer units.
Environment: Through Campaign 100, LCIF will protect our communities’ environmental health, generating long-term, positive ecological impact.
Some of today’s most profound environmental challenges are deforestation, climate change and water scarcity. Worldwide, at least 1.8 billion people still use a drinking water source contaminated by fecal matter, and 40 percent are affected by water scarcity. LCIF will:
- Construct and install water tanks, wells and pumps where needed.
- Secure water purification equipment for public facilities such as schools and medical clinics.
- Install toilets and sanitation services in regions where they don’t yet exist.
There’s a world in need. Fortunately, there are more than 1.4 million compassionate Lions across the globe dedicated to serving through life-changing initiatives funded by LCIF, whose volunteer leaders, technical advisors and staff provide program and grant oversight, and whose seven consecutive Four Star Charity Navigator ratings testify to its efficiency and accountability.
To access a pocket guide and infographic illustrating A World in Need and LCIF in Action, visit the Member Resource Center on our website and click on Campaign 100.
Call for Support
Over the past 100 years, Lions united in service and empowered by their global foundation have transformed millions of lives and are now proud to #BE100 and support Campaign 100.
Visit lcif.org/BE100 to learn how Campaign 100 will help Lions increase their service impact in vision, youth, disaster relief and humanitarian efforts; fight diabetes to reduce its prevalence and improve quality of life for those diagnosed; and expand global causes to include childhood cancer, hunger and the environment.
Caryn Lerner is the senior content specialist for Lions Clubs International Foundation.