Change doesn’t happen all at once. It happens through many small choices. With every act of kindness, we change a life. With every Lions club and Leo club, we change a community.

Bringing Out the Best in Others

Lifting others up is what she does.

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Dr. Patti Hill is an accomplished teacher, administrator, psychologist and small-business owner. But it isn’t her impressive resume that she’ll mention when you ask what’s important to her.

The purpose of my life on this earth is to help others achieve their potential. If I’m not doing that, I should be!

Dr. Hill makes it her mission to find the potential in others and to create an environment that helps them thrive. “I always see the good in people,” she says.

Every step in Dr. Hill’s career was made because she believed in doing her part to ensure others could achieve their dreams. When she was asked to teach special education in secondary school, she agreed and then promptly enrolled in a master’s program focusing on teaching the deaf and hard of hearing.

Seed planting with blind students

While she was a young teacher, Dr. Hill’s uncle Eddie, who was deaf, had shared stories with her about the difficulty of traveling to distant boarding schools to be educated. Even then, he wasn’t allowed to use sign language in school. She hoped she could make education better for students like her uncle.

While working as a teacher of deaf students, Dr. Hill was presented with the results of student testing performed by school psychologists. They informed her that although the students did well in visual perception, they scored low in verbal skills. Stunned, Dr. Hill used American Sign Language as she responded, “You didn’t even sign to them!”

She knew her students couldn’t achieve their full potential if they couldn’t even use their primary source of communication. She didn’t want the same thing to happen to them that had happened to her uncle Eddie, so she began taking psychology classes to create a better way to assess students.

Emmanuel Logwee Ngola, Isaac Turyasingura, Lochoro Albina Akwar

Classes eventually turned into a doctorate degree, and now she’s a licensed psychologist.

Dr. Hill served for a time as principal at a specialty school for children with severe speech and language development challenges in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. She also started a consultancy business using her knowledge and experience to help government agencies design and implement better programs for children, youth and their families, which she’s been running for more than 40 years. Dr. Patti Hill devoted her life to making the world a better place. Along the way, she found Lions.

Actually, Lions found her.

Making the World a Better Place

It turned out that Dr. Hill’s business partner was married to a Lion. When district Lions organized a project to help fund cochlear implants for those in need, they wanted someone with knowledge of the deaf community, so they turned to Patti for guidance. Of course, she was happy to help.

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When Dr. Hill became the founding principal of The Heritage School, Lions wanted to return the favor. “What do you need?” they asked.

Dr. Hill was happy to have Lions’ help, but she didn’t expect them to keep coming back.

But the Lions persisted.

In fact, they asked her to become a Lion. More than once.

There was no question her life was already busy. In addition to her business and her job as principal, she was finishing her Ph.D. and expecting her first child. Even so, she couldn’t turn them away.

In 1990, she joined the Edmonton Host Lions Club. She soon realized her club was more than just a local club; it was a critical part of a global association of clubs just like hers that were serving in nearly every country on earth. Being a Lion was the perfect way to do what she had always wanted to do—make the world a better place.

Uganda Childrens Cancer Hospital

One of her first projects showed Dr. Hill just how powerful being a Lion can be. The hospital in Edmonton didn’t have a dedicated pediatric operating suite. This meant every time a child required surgery, the equipment had to be manually adjusted to accommodate these young patients. This added more complexity and discomfort to an already harrowing experience for children and their parents. Dr. Hill and her club asked how much it would cost to build a specialized operating suite for children. The response? Three hundred thousand dollars.

“And we did it,” she says. With the help of LCIF, they raised every penny. “That’s when I knew that Lions could have real impact.”

When she attended her first multiple district convention, she realized that the impact wasn’t limited to Edmonton.

As she walked around the venue and saw the displays of all the projects Lions had done that year and heard the conversations taking place, she realized the scale of it all. That’s when she knew she was part of something much bigger than she could’ve imagined.

“I get it now,” she said. Dr. Hill realized Lions weren’t just changing their communities, they were changing the world. Changing the world is what she is focused on as our international president.

Changing the World

There’s an old saying—It’s the journey, not the destination.

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Changing the world is a journey. There’s no middle and no end. There is, however, a beginning.

With every small act of service, you contribute one step towards change. It’s up to each of us to simply begin. Like rain filling a bucket, we can change the world one drop at a time.

In fact, we are all changing the world with every decision we make. Truly meaningful changes will occur when we are intentional about the kind of changes we want to make. When we strive to make positive changes—in our lives and in the lives of others—we put good into the world.

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Lions have been doing our part to change the world for more than 100 years. In every project we do, with every donation we make, we contribute to positive change in our communities. As we fill our own buckets, our communities rise with us.

We are all connected. When we see that connection, boundaries and barriers disappear. We realize that while global challenges may seem daunting, there is always a place where we can begin. The place is here. The time is now.

Our world is a beautiful place. Let the rain fall. Drop by drop, fill your bucket. Help those around you fill theirs. Every day, in big ways and in small, let’s serve to make our world an even better place for all.

Change Begins One Step at a Time

We change the world one life, one relationship, one community at a time.

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Here are some great ways to get started.

Create a greener, cleaner environment.
Protecting and improving our environment is a great way to engage with our communities. By helping to protect and restore our natural resources, we can literally change the world. Let’s act boldly, and let’s act now.

Share your story with the world.
Developing great marketing skills can help you tell the world who you are and what you do. Social media and local media, and online and offline marketing give you new ways to tell your stories. Shine a light on your club and invite your community to be a part of the change as Lions and Leos.

2024 Aug27 3842 Edit LSReach your service potential.
People want to be a part of something that matters. So set service goals that push your capacity and create opportunities for even more impact with new members. Find ways to ensure your club is inclusive and welcoming to all.

Empower even greater good.
Our foundation empowers us to do so much more than we can do alone. LCIF enables us to think big and undertake projects that can truly change the world. So, support LCIF, and let LCIF support you.

Believe in Yourself

To change the world, we first must believe change is possible.

Here are some key steps that can help you face the challenges ahead.

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Be brave.
In the causes you tackle and in the work that you do, don’t shy away from something that may seem too difficult. You’re up to the task and other Lions are here to support you. So take that bold first step.

Invest in the future.
We all have a reason to invest in the future, and young people may be uniquely positioned to help us create change. We are better able to deal with the issues facing our communities when they’re at the table with us. Let’s invite the next generation of global leaders to serve with us as Lions.

2024 Aug27 4248 Edit LSCollaborate.
We do our best work as a team. Work with community leaders, other service organizations, and each other to address the biggest problems facing your communities. Collaboration makes change happen faster.

Lead the way.
Lions and Leos lead by example. We show the world what is possible when people care about their communities and when kindness is the goal. Lead the way, and others will join you.

Changing the World

Be the change.