Creating Harmony Through Service With International President Dr. Jung-Yul Choi

We Serve all people in all places. Lions are a shining example to the world of the good that can be accomplished by uniting in harmony. We’re known for our strength and ability to help others—and this is only accomplished Through Diversity.

Hard work. The importance of giving your all with consistency, vision and passion. Never allowing someone in crisis to go unserved. These are the values passed on by a loving mother to her son—103rd International President, Dr. Jung-Yul Choi.

As a member of the Busan Jae-il Lions Club in the Republic of Korea for over 40 years, International President Choi leads by example. His career and life have been defined by the work ethic instilled in him as a child, along with a passion to bridge differences, connect people, and embrace diversity to create harmony for all.

As a young lieutenant in the military, he worked as a translator, empowering a greater understanding of other nations for his fellow soldiers and his country. As a business owner, he worked across borders, establishing trust internationally. As a husband and a father, he has been loving, strong and devoted. And now, as international president, Dr. Jung-Yul Choi is ready to help Lions come together in greater unity than ever before.

He will lead our Lion family with the same wisdom his mother instilled in her family: If you work harder than you’re expected to, then extraordinary results will come.

Dr. Jung-Yul Choi

Diversifying Our Service

Uniting Clubs and Communities Around the World

The world is facing many challenges. Natural disasters, famine and disease. Conflict, prejudice and greed. The unfortunate reality is that there will always be difficulties for us as global citizens to overcome. Yet, history has also shown the potential for creative and peaceful solutions to these problems, a path to a more harmonious existence. While the problems may seem insurmountable when faced alone, we can all take comfort in our strength, our nearly 1.4 million Lions, and our incredible ability to engineer solutions.

Love. Compassion. Inclusion. Connection.

Only through a diverse group of perspectives, including people of all backgrounds and all places, can we realize our full potential as Lions and serve the diverse needs of our communities, and the world. There’s a reason we’ve each chosen to be a part of Lions Clubs International. It’s because we value the insight, the beliefs and the heart of others, and we realize the greater good that can only be achieved when we join together as one.

Each of our 1.4 million members is different. These very differences are what make us strong. They make us great. They make us Lions. International President, Dr. Jung-Yul Choi

Paying It Forward

The Moment that Launched a Lifetime of Service

It’s morning in Busan, and a young Jung-Yul Choi sits and works. All is quiet, except for the typical sounds of an office—the clatter of typing, pages turning, drawers opening and closing.

But then something happens. There’s a loud crash from the street below. At the window, Choi discovers what has happened: A milk delivery boy, no older than 18, has crashed his bike. Glass bottles are shattered and milk is spilling across the sidewalk while the boy watches helplessly.

Choi rushes out and asks, “Are you okay?”

The boy says he’s fine, but Choi can tell that all is not okay. Milk comes at a high cost, and this boy has just lost a lot of it. Surely he will lose his pay, and may even go into debt to pay for it.

And so Choi asks, “How much will this cost you?”

The boy is proud and humble, but he reluctantly replies, “300 dollars.”

Choi takes out his wallet and hands the boy the money he’s lost. The boy hesitates, but then takes it. “Thank you,” he says. “How can I ever repay you for this kindness?”

“You cannot repay me with money,” Choi says. “You can repay me by helping another person in need. You can repay me by working harder than you think you’re able to, every day of your life.”

The boy nods, then gets back on his bike and waves goodbye. The young Choi watches the boy ride into the city, wondering where he is truly going from here.

A Lion Is Born

The Importance of Sharing Our Service

In the Republic of Korea, there is a belief that resonates through its over 51 million citizens. It’s the belief that all people should live with dignity and that each person should be provided with basic needs. There’s an underlying idea that doing good is not a one-time act, but rather a vital part of everyday life.

Helping others live with dignity may be fundamental to Koreans, but this story is the moment Dr. Choi realized that service was more than a duty—it was his calling. And this story almost went untold. That’s because service is seen as a personal and humble experience in Korea, not something to be boasted about.

Dr. Choi, like Lions, didn’t do the right thing for attention. He did it simply because it was the right thing to do. The story of selfless service is common among Lions. We are all connected to something bigger than ourselves. We’ve chosen to dedicate our efforts to the greater good. And the world is a better place because of it.

And while it’s in his nature and the nature of many Lions to serve without bringing attention to their good deeds, it’s also important that we share and celebrate them.

The story that sparked a lifetime of service in International President Dr. Choi is surely similar to that of many Lions around the world. It’s important that we share our stories so we can spark the imagination—and the spirit of service—in our communities and around the world.

The Many Ways We Serve

This Year’s Global Priorities

Specialty Clubs

While Lions serve a wide range of needs in their communities, more and more clubs are forming around a specific area of interest, a single cause or common background. Specialty clubs allow people to join a community focused on common pursuits and interests—growing membership and helping our organization do even greater good.

Members of All Ages

Our members represent every culture, background and generation. This year, we can strengthen our clubs—for today and tomorrow—by inviting young people and seniors to join us in service. This multi-generational approach is critical to unifying people, leveraging skills and experience, and making clubs a welcoming place for all.

Global Causes

Our new global causes give Lions around the world new opportunities to unite so we can address some of the most pressing issues facing humanity. This year, we’re encouraging all clubs to expand their service and use the resources available to them to make an even bigger difference in their communities.

Service Journey

Learn, Discover, Act, Celebrate. These are the four phases of our new Service Journey, a comprehensive way for Lions to increase their service impact through access to resources surrounding our global causes. When we serve, we grow. And we were never meant to stop.

Supporting Our Foundation

Campaign 100 is a three-year effort by Lions Clubs International Foundation to raise $US300 million, with the goal of empowering the service of Lions around the world. As we enter the second year of the campaign, we want to keep our momentum going by encouraging everyone to give what they can. Together, we can bring long-term change and lasting hope to the communities that need us most.

Lions Serve the World

Strengthening Our Clubs and Communities Through Diversity

Diversity is more than a defining characteristic for Lions. It’s also the key to success. Here’s how we can help diversify our leadership, membership and service so you can have a stronger club and make an even bigger impact in your community.

Leading by Example

Great leaders have always been at the heart of great success. This year, we want to make the development of leaders an even stronger focus. Every Lion is a leader, and we want to make sure that all members are given the opportunity to develop as leaders, and that each leader is trained and supported.

Our Members Are Our Communities

Each person looking to serve brings unique experiences, skills and perspective with them. And each new member can help us do even more good in our communities. Let’s recognize the good in all, and make sure those who are ready to make a difference have an opportunity to serve as Lions.

Expanding Our Service

The needs of our neighbors, communities and the world are great. That’s why we have set a goal of helping more than 200 million people per year, every year. So consider supporting one of our global causes or taking on a new project that serves a pressing need in your community.

Great service demands balance. It takes the equal efforts of many to improve the world. Every person’s perspective is required for our success.

Diversify Your Service