Thursday, May 12, 2011

When Tragedy Strikes, Lions are there!

Dear Community,
The last few months have seen great destruction across our globe. But, like me, I am sure you are proud of how we Lions and our global Foundation have been quick to respond.  Now, in the case of the Southern United States disasters, we are giving a hand and giving hope to those in greatest need.  The Foundation has already provided US$160,000 in emergency grants for immediate relief across eight states since mid-April. We are mobilizing an additional US$250,000 for continued relief efforts.

The destruction and death tolls continue to rise from the deadly tornados and storms throughout the U.S. during the month of April. I continue to be shocked and saddened by this news. It is the largest tornado outbreak in the history of the U.S., with at least 178 tornados killing more than 300 people. Thousands of people across several states have been left homeless.

Lions have also been greatly impacted. But they are committed to meeting the urgent needs in their communities. In hard-hit Birmingham, Alabama, Lions have set up a warehouse staging area to collect and distribute donated goods, including emergency supplies such as water and food. Twenty-seven Lions clubs in District 12- O, Tennessee are providing 200 families with prepared food boxes, needed medical supplies and eyeglasses.

"Lions from around the world have called me to hear how the local Lions are doing," said Lions International Director Yamandu Acosta, of Alabama. He has received calls from Australia, Spain and Peru, as well as others.  

Lions, you know well that Lions Clubs greatest asset is our volunteers-you and 1.35 million Lions around the world. Wherever there is a need, there is a Lions club nearby, ready to respond with their hearts and hands. Your generosity in the case of disasters allows us to be the first to offer help.

Lions, I ask for your help in making the hope for a brighter tomorrow a reality for the people in these devastated areas.The most effective and immediate way to help is through a designated donation to LCIF  for Southern United States relief.

I have seen some of the recent destruction first-hand in New Zealand, and next month Margit and I will be in Japan and Haiti to visit with Lions and view our relief efforts there. Lions, we can take great pride in our long history of providing relief for as long as it takes.  

I hope I can count on you to once again give your full support to give help and hope in the Southern United States.

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