With $1 billion in grants awarded since its founding, including approximately $10 million in Texas, the Lions Clubs International Foundation provides relief and support for projects in the U.S. and worldwide.
The foundation focuses on projects for vision, including the distribution of eyeglasses around the world; youth; disaster relief; humanitarian aid; diabetes; childhood cancer; the environment; and hunger.
Bill Smothermon, a past district governor and volunteer for the foundation, addressed the Kaufman Lions Club on July 31, asking club members to be a part of Campaign 100, a four-year effort to raise $300 million for the foundation.
A $100 donation from each member will fund a water project for 20 families or provide cataract surgery for someone in need, he explained. In Texas, the foundation provides disaster relief for tornadoes and hurricanes. The foundation also distributed personal protective equipment for Texas hospitals in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The foundation has joined an international campaign to fight measles, resulting in the reduction in 469 child measles fatalities every day around the world to 247, but more work needs to be done, Smothermon noted.
Lions clubs and the foundation are known for their work on vision project and recycling eyeglasses for those in need. The eyeglass recycling center based in Midland, Texas was built using foundation funds, he added.
The foundation is asking each member of Lions Club International to pledge $100 annually for four years to fund Campaign 100, which will allow more clubs to apply for grants for local projects. Club President Melinda Polk asked members to achieve 100% participation for the Kaufman club.
More information about the clubs and foundation are available at www.lionsclubs.org.