Together, Lions across the world—with support from Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF)—united through kindness to support Ukraine refugees in a time of great need.
Alone, we can do so little; together we can do so much more.
Because of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, millions of people were forced to leave their homes to escape the intense fighting and violence—creating one of the fastest moving refugee crises since World War II. As the conflict continues, the number of families leaving Ukraine is expected to continue to rise.
In this time of great need, Lions and LCIF joined together to serve our communities during this humanitarian crisis. Lions in neighboring countries immediately started to help Ukrainian refugees and displaced persons by collecting truckloads of food and welcoming refugees into their homes. Some Lions even crossed the border to bring supplies to Ukrainians—delivering food and medicine, while others transported men, women and children from the border to safe zones. Around the world, Lions raised money, created care packages and hosted vigils for Ukraine. To magnify their service even more, Lions turned to LCIF for additional help.
Since the end of March 2022, LCIF has awarded more than US$619,125 for refugee relief to Lions serving in Poland, Hungary, Romania, Austria, Slovakia, Armenia, Lithuania, Finland, Turkey and Bulgaria to support Ukrainian refugees who have crossed their borders. LCIF’s grant funds are expected to help more than 81,000 refugees.
LCIF also awarded grants to Lions in the Ukraine to address the critical needs of people who remain in the country with about 6.5 million displaced people staying in Ukraine, according to United Nations data.
“Lions and Leos around the world continue to grieve for those impacted by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine,” said LCIF Chairperson Dr. Jung Yul Choi. “These LCIF grants are empowering our members to help families who have fled their homes find safety and security during this immensely challenging time.”
See how, together with LCIF’s grants, Lions around the world bring hope to refugees during this challenging time:
LCIF awarded four grants to Lions in Ukraine totaling US$95,000. With the funds, Lions purchased food supplies for 220 orphans between the ages of 8 and 17 at the Ternopil orphanage in Ukraine. The food included canned goods, cereal and pasta, with 15 Lions delivering food on the ground.
Lions in Ukraine also distributed packages of food, medicine and hygiene products for displaced people throughout Kyiv and delivered 2,100 liters of water to two hospitals. They also plan to distribute more food, medicines and other essentials throughout Kyiv and Chernihiv, and deliver food and medicine to refugee camps, centers and hospitals in Chernihiv, Vinnytsia, Uman, Cherkasy and Lviv.
LCIF awarded four grants to Lions in Poland totaling US$374,125. Ten Lions clubs will distribute food and hygiene products at centers for refugees in Poland and buy four large refrigerators for a food distribution point in the Lochow Commune in Warsaw. Lions are also working with 41 centers and 11 schools to bring a month’s supply of food and toiletries to 6,000 people.
With the support of a US$15,000 grant, Lions in Poland prepared medicine and bandages that will be delivered to the border where refugees are cared for by medical staff.
Lions in Poland purchased 20 RENASYS TOUCH devices, which provide negative pressure wound therapy to bombing victims at a hospital in Lviv, Ukraine. The Polish Lions plan to purchase the devices in Poland and deliver them to Lviv via the humanitarian corridor.
Polish Lions also plan to purchase a two-month supply of food and hygiene supplies for a refugee welcome center, currently housed in the Culture and Sports Center in Pruszcz Gdanski. Refugees in the city are accommodated in private homes, guest rooms and institutions, but they eat dinner at the center.
LCIF awarded a US$15,000 grant to Lions in Armenia to provide food and blankets for 300 Ukrainian families who’ve crossed into Armenia for safety.
LCIF awarded a US$15,000 grant for Lions in Austria to purchase and distribute food, medicine, clothing, hygiene items and diapers to 1,000 refugees in Vienna, Austria. LCIF also awarded an additional US$15,000 grant for the Lions in Austria to pack and deliver 1,500 hygiene bags filled with soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste, cups, blankets and facemasks into a canvas tote bag emblazoned with the Lions logo.
With support of a US$15,000 grant, Lions in Bulgaria will pack and deliver food, blankets, clothing and hygiene materials to regional refugee centers in Ruse, Plovdiv, Stara Zagora, Sofia, Varna and Veliko Tarnovo.
LCIF awarded a US$15,000 grant to Lions in Finland to pack and distribute care packages containing hygiene products to refugees sheltering in a refugee accommodation center in the Uusimaa region of Finland.
With support of a US$15,000 LCIF grant, Lions in Hungary will purchase mineral water, sandwiches, and cleaning and sanitation supplies to make relief package kits and deliver them to the border.
With support of a US$15,000 grant, Lions in Lithuania purchased and delivered food packages, diapers, infant formula and hygiene supplies to 300 refugee families at refugee centers, shelters and private households.
LCIF awarded a US$15,000 grant for Lions in Romania to distribute sleeping bags, blankets, hygiene and sanitary items in the cities of Sighetu Marmatiei and Satu Mare on the Romanian-Ukrainian border.
With support of a US$15,000 LCIF grant, Lions in Slovakia will purchase and distribute necessities to Ukrainian refugees, such as food, hygiene items, blankets and essentials.
With support of a US$15,000 LCIF grant, Lions in Turkey will distribute food, clothing, hygiene supplies and essential medicines for nearly 300 refugees sheltered in Istanbul, Turkey, and its suburbs.
Lending a hand across the globe
Lions throughout the world also supported the refugees by donating to LCIF’s Refugee and Displaced Persons Relief Fund to support refugees in their communities and around the world.
For example, the Moulton Lions Club in Alabama, USA, decided to support the humanitarian efforts in Ukraine, but they wanted to magnify their impact. That’s why they decided to send the proceeds from a drive-thru fish-fry to the LCIF’s Refugee and Displaced Persons Relief Fund.
“LCIF collectively partners with Lions across the world. As Helen Keller said, ‘Alone, we can do so little; together we can do so much more,’” said Jerome Thompson, past international director and member of the Moulton Lions Clubs.
Clubs across the world sent donations to the fund, assembled crisis packages and hosted vigils in support of Ukraine. The international directors of North America united to raise funds for the relief fund, while staff at the Lions corporate office donated food and raised money for Ukrainian refugees.
“The events in Ukraine have shocked the world, but the courage and resilience of the Ukrainian people have inspired it,” said Lions International President Douglas X. Alexander. “We stand with our Lions and our communities in Ukraine. Lions serve from the heart, and the heart of Lions are shining through during this time of such great need.”
Together, Lions can do more to provide hope for refugees by donating to LCIF’s Refugee Relief and Displaced Persons Relief Fund, which will help ensure that Lions are there to help them find the safety and security they desperately need.
To learn more about the continued effort, please visit: lionsclubs.org/en/resources-for-members/resource-center/humanitarian-crisis-ukraine.
Elizabeth Edwards is a content specialist for Lions Clubs International Foundation.
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