Lion’s Club International: A Friend in Need
By Joe Olvera ©, 2010
Orlando Rodriguez of El Paso, the 1st Vice District Governor of the Lion’s Club District 2T3, said his organization has been at the forefront in providing disaster relief to the people of Haiti through its international programs and connections. His own district, 2T3, which encompasses El Paso, Texas to Odessa, Texas, has always responded to disasters. “With more than 1,000 members in my district, the Lions Club is always providing funds for disaster relief,” Rodriguez said. “This time is no different.
Al Brandel, LCIF chairperson, said in a statement on the Internet, that the Lion’s Club is working to learn all it can about the devastation in Haiti. “At LCIF, we have also learned more about the situation on the ground from the Lions of Haiti,” Brandel said. “My heart goes out to all the Lions in Haiti, who have been personally affected by this disaster. We have lost at least two club members as well as many close relatives. Yet, these brave Lions have put aside their own grief, their own needs to help their community. LCIF is working non-stop with Lions of that area to support “Lions Hope for Haiti.”
Brandel said that Lions Hope for Haiti has mobilized more than $350,000 U.S.
dollars to date. “Lions around the world are responding generously and quickly to
the LCIF designated fund for this disaster. Donations are continuing to pour in
from individuals, clubs and districts, and I thank all of you who have already pledged your support.”
LCIF is assisting the people of Haiti in a variety of ways. Besides money, medical equipment, and other essential needs, the Texas Lions Eyeglass Recycling Center has been helping to collect medical equipment for those most affected by the disaster. The group is still in need of crutches, walkers, wheelchairs, and other equipment that will help people who have suffered havoc for Haitians.
PDG Bob Edwards, of TLERC Information, wants for every Lion to become involved in providing help. “Your assistance is needed to decide on an appropriate location to gather the requested equipment in each district,” Edwards said. “As the equipment is gathered, please appoint a trusted Lion to communicate to TLERC as to the amount and type of equipment and its location. We will organize a plan to collect what you have gathered and get it to a common shipping point.” Edwards said that the number to call is 432-683-7900. The group’s email address is HYPERLINK “mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org” email@example.com.
Other efforts by LCIF include:
*Lions in neighboring Caribbean countries are sending cargo containers of requested supplies through connections with transportation companies.
*Lions in Sweden are sending large tents through the Swedish government to provide housing for those who are now homeless as well as relief workers, as they did for the China earthquake.
*Lions from District A-9, Ontario, Canada were in the area when the earthquake hit, helping to establish a clean water system for an orphanage, and responded by establishing a make-shift medical clinic, treating 600 people.
Lions are contributing generously, some examples include: US$86,000 pledged from Lions in Norway; US$20,000 from Lions in China; US$14,000 from District 105-I, England.