Lions Clubs – Ready to Help, Worldwide

Whenever a Lions club gets together, problems get smaller. And communities get better. That’s because we help where help is needed – in our own communities and around the world – with unmatched integrity and energy.

The World’s Largest Service Club Organization

Our 46,000 clubs and 1.35 million members make us the world’s largest service club organization. We’re also one of the most effective. Our members do whatever is needed to help their local communities. Everywhere we work, we make friends. With children who need eyeglasses, with seniors who don’t have enough to eat and with people we may never meet.

Lionism

TO CREATE and foster a spirit of understanding among the peoples of the world.

TO PROMOTE the principles of good government and good citizenship.

TO TAKE an active interest in the civic, cultural, social, and moral welfare of the community.

TO UNITE the clubs in the bonds of friendship, good fellowship, and mutual understanding.

TO PROVIDE a forum for the open discussion of all matters of public interest; provided, however, that partisan politics and sectarian religion shall not be debated by club members at lions events.

TO ENCOURAGE service-minded people to serve their community without personal financial reward, and to encourage efficiency and promote high ethical standards in commerce, industry, professions, public works, and private endeavors.

Our History

1917: The Beginning Chicago business leader Melvin Jones asked a simple and world-changing question – what if people put their talents to work improving their communities? Almost 100 years later, Lions Clubs International is the world’s largest service club organization, with more than 1.35 million members in more than 46,000 clubs and countless stories of Lions acting on the same simple idea: let’s improve our communities.

1920: Going International Just three years after our founding, Lions became international when we established the first club in Canada. Mexico followed in 1927. In the 1950s and 1960s international growth accelerated, with new clubs in Europe, Asia and Africa.

1925: Eradicating Blindness Helen Keller addressed the Lions Clubs International Convention in Cedar Point, Ohio, USA, and challenged Lions to become “knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness.” Since then, we have worked tirelessly to aid the blind and visually impaired.

1945: Uniting Nations The ideal of an international organization is exemplified by our enduring relationship with the United Nations. We were one of the first nongovernmental organizations invited to assist in the drafting of the United Nations Charter and have supported the work of the UN ever since.

1957: Organizing Youth Programs In the late 1950s, we created the Leo Program to provide the youth of the world with an opportunity for personal development through volunteering. There are approximately 157,000 Leos and 6,000 Leo clubs in more than 200 countries and geographic areas worldwide.

1968: Establishing Our Foundation Lions Clubs International Foundation assists Lions with global and large-scale local humanitarian projects. Through our Foundation, Lions meet the needs of their local and global communities.

1990: Launching SightFirst Through SightFirst, Lions are restoring sight and preventing blindness on a global scale. Launched in 1990, Lions have raised more than $415 million for this initiative. SightFirst targets the major causes of blindness: low vision, trachoma, river blindness, childhood blindness, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma.

Today: Extending Our Reach Lions Clubs International has impacted the lives of millions all over the world. Through our signature projects, we are able to help in the areas of sight, health, youth, the elderly, the environment and disaster relief. We serve in more than 200 countries and geographic areas around the globe.

Fact Sheet

Lions Clubs International is the largest service club organization in the world. We have more than 1.35 million members in more than 46,000 clubs worldwide. Lions are everywhere. We’re men and women active in more than 200 countries and geographic areas.

Lions serve. Our motto is “We Serve.” Founded in 1917, we are best known for fighting blindness, but we also feed the hungry, aid seniors and the disabled, and care for the environment. Lions are a global service network of volunteers that make a difference in their local communities.

Lions give sight. By conducting vision screenings, equipping hospitals and clinics, distributing medicine and raising awareness of eye disease, Lions work toward the goal of providing vision for all. Through programs such as SightFirst, Lions have helped provide more than 147 million treatments for river blindness, 10 million doses of a sight-saving drug to prevent trachoma, and eye screenings for more than 15 million children.

Lions serve youth. Our community projects often support children and local schools through scholarships, recreation and mentoring. Internationally, we offer many programs to empower youth, including the Peace Poster Contest; youth camps and exchanges; and Lions Quest, a positive youth development program.

Our Leo clubs help young people develop leadership skills while impacting their communities through service. There are approximately 157,000 Leos and 6,000 Leo clubs in more than 200 countries and geographic areas worldwide.

Lions receive grants and the world receives benefits. Since 1968, Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) has awarded more than $811 million in grants to support Lions’ humanitarian projects. As the official charitable organization of Lions Clubs International, LCIF helps Lions improve the lives of millions of people through four pillars of service: saving sight, supporting youth, providing disaster relief and meeting humanitarian needs. Through the Foundation’s generous support of large-scale humanitarian initiatives, Lions are able to extend their reach from local communities to the global community in order to serve those who need us most.

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