Lions Clubs International Demonstrates the Value of Volunteers

Clubs Spend Millions of Hours Serving Their Communities Each Year



Apr 12, 2001, 01:00 ET from Lions Clubs International

    OAK BROOK, Ill., April 12 /PRNewswire/ -- As the efforts of volunteers are
 celebrated during National Volunteer Week April 22 - 28, Lions clubs
 demonstrate the valuable contributions they have provided to their communities
 for more than 83 years.  Through their countless volunteerism efforts Lions
 clubs estimate that they help upwards of 100 million people each year around
 the world.
     Based on responses from a recent report of Lions clubs worldwide, the
 association estimates that in total Lions clubs donate as much as $1 billion
 and 50 million donated hours*.  The donated hours would be the equivalent of
 25,000 people working full-time for one year.
     "These statistics demonstrate how valuable volunteers such as Lions club
 members are to meeting vital community needs," said Dr. Jean Behar, Lions
 Clubs International President.  "Our volunteers are able to directly serve
 their communities through time, as well as financial contributions, and we
 think that makes a big difference in the lives of those we serve."
 Lions clubs have long been known for their blindness prevention initiatives.
 Less well known are some of their other outreach efforts, such as community
 service (community clean-ups, recreation and education programs), youth
 outreach (Leo clubs, drug awareness, scouting, youth exchange and Lions
 International Peace Poster Contest) and health services (diabetes and hearing
 screenings and educational programs). According to reports from clubs
 worldwide, these diverse programs make up the greatest percentage of both time
 and money spent by clubs each year.
     In the United States, clubs report donating their time primarily to
 community service, sight initiatives, youth programs and environmental
 programs. U.S. Lions clubs' funds are used mainly to support youth programs,
 community service, sight initiatives and health services.
     "Local Lions clubs assess the needs of their communities and develop
 service projects to meet those needs," said Behar.  "While blindness
 prevention initiatives will always be an important part of our association,
 the flexibility of clubs to choose from a diverse array of programs to best
 suit their communities perfectly exemplifies our motto 'We Serve.' It is truly
 what Lions clubs are all about."
     Groups such as Lions clubs demonstrate how important volunteers are to
 helping those in need worldwide.  In fact, the United Nations has declared
 2001 as the "International Year of Volunteers."  "Volunteer activities help
 bridge the gap between what is currently being done and what must be done to
 meet community needs," said Sharon Capeling-Alakija, Executive Coordinator of
 United Nations Volunteers.  "With IYV we want to build on what organizations
 like Lions Clubs International have already created, and work together to make
 volunteering an increasingly vital form of activism and civil participation
 around the globe."
     Lions Clubs International is the world's largest service club organization
 with nearly 1.4 million members in more than 44,800 clubs in approximately 186
 countries and geographical areas around the world.  Since its international
 convention in 1925 when Helen Keller challenged the delegates to be "knights
 of the blind in the crusade against darkness," Lions clubs members have
 adopted the primary mission of aiding the blind and visually impaired.  The
 organization, headquartered in Oak Brook, Illinois, has also made a strong
 commitment to community service and serving youth throughout the world.  For
 more information on Lions Clubs International and their worldwide volunteer
 efforts, please visit http://www.lionsclubs.org .
 
     * One in five clubs worldwide (based on 44,800 clubs) reported annual
       totals of $191 million in donations and 12.7 million hours of community
       service.  In the United States, about one in four clubs (based on 14,083
       clubs) reported an average of 871 volunteer hours per club annually and
       a total of more than $50 million in donations.
 
 

SOURCE Lions Clubs International
    OAK BROOK, Ill., April 12 /PRNewswire/ -- As the efforts of volunteers are
 celebrated during National Volunteer Week April 22 - 28, Lions clubs
 demonstrate the valuable contributions they have provided to their communities
 for more than 83 years.  Through their countless volunteerism efforts Lions
 clubs estimate that they help upwards of 100 million people each year around
 the world.
     Based on responses from a recent report of Lions clubs worldwide, the
 association estimates that in total Lions clubs donate as much as $1 billion
 and 50 million donated hours*.  The donated hours would be the equivalent of
 25,000 people working full-time for one year.
     "These statistics demonstrate how valuable volunteers such as Lions club
 members are to meeting vital community needs," said Dr. Jean Behar, Lions
 Clubs International President.  "Our volunteers are able to directly serve
 their communities through time, as well as financial contributions, and we
 think that makes a big difference in the lives of those we serve."
 Lions clubs have long been known for their blindness prevention initiatives.
 Less well known are some of their other outreach efforts, such as community
 service (community clean-ups, recreation and education programs), youth
 outreach (Leo clubs, drug awareness, scouting, youth exchange and Lions
 International Peace Poster Contest) and health services (diabetes and hearing
 screenings and educational programs). According to reports from clubs
 worldwide, these diverse programs make up the greatest percentage of both time
 and money spent by clubs each year.
     In the United States, clubs report donating their time primarily to
 community service, sight initiatives, youth programs and environmental
 programs. U.S. Lions clubs' funds are used mainly to support youth programs,
 community service, sight initiatives and health services.
     "Local Lions clubs assess the needs of their communities and develop
 service projects to meet those needs," said Behar.  "While blindness
 prevention initiatives will always be an important part of our association,
 the flexibility of clubs to choose from a diverse array of programs to best
 suit their communities perfectly exemplifies our motto 'We Serve.' It is truly
 what Lions clubs are all about."
     Groups such as Lions clubs demonstrate how important volunteers are to
 helping those in need worldwide.  In fact, the United Nations has declared
 2001 as the "International Year of Volunteers."  "Volunteer activities help
 bridge the gap between what is currently being done and what must be done to
 meet community needs," said Sharon Capeling-Alakija, Executive Coordinator of
 United Nations Volunteers.  "With IYV we want to build on what organizations
 like Lions Clubs International have already created, and work together to make
 volunteering an increasingly vital form of activism and civil participation
 around the globe."
     Lions Clubs International is the world's largest service club organization
 with nearly 1.4 million members in more than 44,800 clubs in approximately 186
 countries and geographical areas around the world.  Since its international
 convention in 1925 when Helen Keller challenged the delegates to be "knights
 of the blind in the crusade against darkness," Lions clubs members have
 adopted the primary mission of aiding the blind and visually impaired.  The
 organization, headquartered in Oak Brook, Illinois, has also made a strong
 commitment to community service and serving youth throughout the world.  For
 more information on Lions Clubs International and their worldwide volunteer
 efforts, please visit http://www.lionsclubs.org .
 
     * One in five clubs worldwide (based on 44,800 clubs) reported annual
       totals of $191 million in donations and 12.7 million hours of community
       service.  In the United States, about one in four clubs (based on 14,083
       clubs) reported an average of 871 volunteer hours per club annually and
       a total of more than $50 million in donations.
 
 SOURCE  Lions Clubs International