Stories from LCIF’s 2017-2018 Annual Report

Lions are doers. There is so much to be done in the world. And the physical act of helping can feel so good—hammering a nail in the frame of a new house for a tornado victim, ladling soup for a hungry child, or ushering a grandmother to her first diabetes screening are all visceral ways to experience the rewards of service.

But what if there was no money to buy the nails, or to pay for the gas to heat the stove, or to get the equipment to screen for diabetes? Where would we be without the donors? Is giving a form of doing?

Campaign 100 will help LCIF empower Lions to create positive change in communities near and far. In addition to messages about our world in need, Campaign 100, and how Lions can be involved in expanding humanitarian efforts, LCIF is proud to present stories from LCIF’s 2017-2018 Annual Report. “While I’ve been humbled and inspired by Lions since joining our incredible organization in 1978, my year as Foundation chair opened my eyes far wider to the world of good Lions do with funding and guidance from LCIF. Twelve months spent crossing the globe and visiting grant projects beautifully illustrated how together, we can.”- Chancellor Bob Corlew, Past International President and 2017-2018 LCIF Chairman.

The list of challenges the world faces is long

Two hundred fifty-three million individuals are blind or visually impaired, and global trends suggest that figure may triple by 2050. Climate change is causing a steady rise in natural disasters, robbing innocent people of homes, jobs, and lives. By 2025, half the world’s population will be living in water-stressed areas. Two hundred forty-five people die each day from measles, prevented easily by safe and inexpensive vaccines. Two-thirds of children report being victims of bullying. Four hundred twenty-five million people are living with diabetes, and this figure may soar to nearly 630 million by 2045. Each night, more than 820 million people go to bed hungry. And every two minutes, a child is diagnosed with cancer.

These are big problems. They need innovative solutions, backed by the means to effect change.

Lions are those innovators. LCIF is the means.

Many Lions on the ground working to address these challenges rely on grants from Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF). These grants wouldn’t exist without the generosity of Lions and friends who donate money to the Foundation.

100 reasons why

The 2018-2019 Lion year marked the launch of the most ambitious capital campaign ever for LCIF. Campaign 100 is in full swing now, looking to wrap every Lion into the fold.

The campaign gets its name from several factors: it was initiated during Lions Clubs International’s 100th year of service. The foundation is asking that 100 percent of Lions participate, giving the equivalent of US$100 per year during the three-year campaign. This aggressive fundraising goal would empower Lions to serve hundreds of millions, ensuring that 100 years from now, the world will be a better place.

It’s a lofty goal, but stories of service in action highlight just how important it is to continue funding the vital work Lions do.

What you and LCIF have done together

If you’ve donated to LCIF this year, here is a sampling of the work you helped enable.

Delivering Dignity in South Korea

New, clean, modern, safe—apt descriptors of a new facility 50 men with intellectual disabilities and severe handicaps now call home.

Residents of a Lions-built care facility in Seoul, South Korea work on a project in their new space.

Augmenting funds raised by Lions in Korea, LCIF provided a US$100,000 grant to construct a new rehabilitation center in the Eunpyeong District of Seoul, South Korea. Funds were awarded after social welfare facility Angels’ Haven was ordered to shut its doors due to unsafe conditions. After the building shut down, residents squeezed into 50-square-meter apartments shared with 14 other people and with just a single toilet. That is where they lived for four years, until LCIF and Lions intervened.

In a collaborative effort bringing dignity to facility residents, Lions in Korea, LCIF, Angels’ Haven, and the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Seoul City, Eunpyeong County, that new, clean, modern, safe building was constructed. Residents are finally living with dignity in much-needed private spaces and can also enjoy the building’s areas designated for exercise, treatment, and social gatherings.

Hurricane Strikes in Puerto Rico, LCIF Responds

September 16, 2017. Some consider it the worst day in Puerto Rico’s history. It’s the date Hurricane Maria wreaked unprecedented havoc on the island. It’s also the date Lions began mobilizing to help the storm’s victims. In the wake of Maria, whose 175-mile per hour winds left a trail of death, destruction, and devastation, Lions beat a path to the island’s residents despite widespread flooding, downed powerlines, and impassable roads. Amid crumbled homes, obliterated businesses, and fertile fields from which crops had been ripped, Lions stood, delivering help and hope.

Lions in Puerto Rico went into action after Hurricane Maria devastated the island.

They were able to do so because of a US$100,000 Major Catastrophe Grant from LCIF.

Lions in Districts 51-C, -E, and -O began distributing nourishing food almost immediately, helping more than 6,000 people each day maintain the strength they’d need for the long days, weeks, and months ahead. “The Lions are gonna work very hard to help this community come back together,” says Lion Miriam Vazquez, Past Council Chairperson. “So I think that’s the spirit we have to continue with. To help and show others how to help.”

Ukraine Orphanage Magnifies Reading

In Ukraine, 27 orphanages are designated for children with disabilities, blindness, or low vision. While most facilities can fulfill basic needs, many don’t have the means to provide vision-challenged youngsters with specialized equipment they need to develop scholastically. Reading and schoolwork become challenging, often rendering them defeated and developmentally delayed.

With a US$34,000 grant from LCIF and funds collected locally, Lions of Ukraine brought hope—in the form of 45 electronic magnifiers—to children with severe low vision at Ternopol Orphanage. Small in size and handheld, the Aidnear Portable Digital Eyesight Aiding Device magnifies images as much as 32 times on a screen delivering full-color, high-definition, high-contrast images. Perhaps best of all, the children can participate in class alongside their normal-sighted peers and have the opportunity to enjoy and do well in school.

A vision-impaired student at an orphanage in Ukraine uses one of the 45 electronic magnifiers provided by Lions to help keep students on track.

Gender Equity Intervention in Delhi, India

Gender-based violence and inequality are sad and pervasive realities. The World Health Organization estimates 35 percent of women globally have experienced some form of physical or sexual violence. As if the wounds and psychological damage weren’t enough, in many parts of the world, abused women are shunned. Unable to find work, they have limited ability to provide for themselves and their children. Sadly, the cycle continues. Those raised in families with violence often perpetuate or experience it as adults.

Young people in India learn about gender equity in an effort to reduce the rate of gender-based violence.

Educating youth on gender equity from an early age is vital to ending the cycle, particularly in India, where the problem is endemic. In collaboration with communications and television services in India, LCIF is doing just that. Through a gender-based violence prevention program piloted in Delhi, LCIF is helping promote positive and safe learning environments. Dosti Ka Safar (The Journey of Friendship) is based on Lions Quest lessons—which foster social and emotional learning—and designed to foster greater gender equity among 2,000 youth in and around New Delhi. The customized intervention employs teacher-led discussions, films, and the Lions Quest skills practice model, moving constructive behaviors from the classroom to the real world.

Finding a Balance Between Diabetes and Childhood

“At camp, I was able to make new friends with kids who have the same disease. With them, I was able to talk about diabetes and didn’t feel so alone with my problems.”

This message of relief is from Thomas, a young teen fortunate to have attended a Lions type 1 diabetes camp near Gratz, Austria. With a US$32,722 grant from LCIF, Lions supported the week-long event for youth ages nine through 14.

In a fun-filled environment, campers learned how to manage their disease and improve metabolic control—critical to maintaining optimum health for children with type 1 diabetes, who really just want to be kids like “everyone else.” Leading the effort was a team of non-clinical and medical staff, who measured participants’ blood glucose levels at the beginning of the camp and tested campers as often as 10 times daily.

Alternating between educational activities such as learning to count carbohydrates, calculate insulin doses, and handle insulin pumps and injections, and typical camp happenings like swimming and other sports, Thomas and fellow campers wrapped their week of fun in the sun with new friends and are more comfortable with, and more capable of handling, their disease.

Students at the LCIF-sponsored diabetes camp learn how to manage their disease, and have fun, too.

Feeding Filipino Children: A Different Approach

Worldwide, the death of one in three children can be attributed to malnutrition. In the Philippines, Lions took a unique approach to decreasing food insecurity and malnourishment of children by providing an enticing incentive: cash. The program brought healthy food to kids while putting money in their parents’ pockets. Lions… serving up a win-win situation!

“We want to make sure there is not one day that children go to sleep with hunger, and not one day that children go to school with an empty stomach,” says Past District Governor Ruth Chua, president of the Manila Amity Lions Club, in the Philippines.

Malnourished children in the Philippines get regular meals thanks to the innovation of Lions.

Supported by a US$1,500 LCIF grant, Lions’ innovative program worked like this: As an incentive for parents to take their malnourished children to daily meals provided through the club’s supplemental feeding program, cash prizes were awarded for weight gain! “Club members worried that providing just one feeding wouldn’t make a lasting impact on the children,” explained Chua. “With the assistance of LCIF, Lions provided nutritious meals every day to children who were small, often weak, more susceptible to illness and infection, and at risk of falling behind in school. In addition, much needed money was awarded to their parents.”

More Resources Means More Children Saved

“Your child has cancer.” Four gut-wrenching words no parent ever wants to hear. For many in the State of Wisconsin, USA, those words are inextricably linked to vital medical services provided at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin (CHW). Through its oncology program, CHW cares for two-thirds of the state’s children with cancer and has treated more than 8,000 patients. With the number of children needing cancer-fighting bone marrow transplants expected to rise, CHW desperately needed additional—and extremely costly—treatment technology. LCIF and caring, compassionate Lions, stepped in to help. A US$100,000 grant from LCIF, and assistance from more than 500 Lions clubs in Wisconsin, helped the hospital purchase life-saving equipment. Now, CHW’s medical team is able to treat an additional 150 children every year.

Vital medical services and equipment are critical to giving children a fighting chance against cancer. Thanks to LCIF, 150 children each year will get a better shot at beating cancer and going on to live full, healthy lives.

Wells for Wellness in Malawi

Humans can go just three days without water. After around 72 hours, the body begins to rebel. So, if your only access to life-sustaining hydration is unsanitary, you drink what’s available, cook with what’s there, and bathe in what’s accessible. In other words, you jeopardize your life in trying to sustain it.

In the African country of Malawi, 70 percent of the population is without treated, sanitary drinking water. Nearly half of rural populations have to travel 30 minutes or more to obtain their drinking water. This means millions of people in Malawi—men, women, children, entire families—are living in rural areas without access to a safe water source. Water-borne diarrheal diseases are the second leading cause of death for children under five.

Malawi’s average 6-month rainy season, responsible for 95 percent of the country’s annual rainfall, has been shorter than usual in recent years.

With a focus on the environment and serving humanity, in January 2018 LCIF awarded a US$60,000 grant to compassionate German Lions committed to delivering liquid hope—clean water—to Malawians.

In the country’s Madisi area, five water wells are being drilled and will be equipped with solar-powered pumps. One well, strategically located at a school for kindergarteners and primary school children, will ensure youngsters are hydrated throughout the school day, thus enhancing their ability to learn. The remaining wells will serve residents of nearby villages, providing them with safe, sanitary water for cooking, drinking, and maintaining personal hygiene.

The benefits continue. Wells will support Madisi’s agricultural efforts, a main source of food for 60 percent of the population and the primary source of income for another 20 percent.

Lions build water wells for communities in Malawi, enabling residents to get safe drinking water.

What Goes Around Comes Right Back Around

While Lions belong to a global organization, they are often focused on bettering their immediate surrounding communities. It can seem like a lot to ask them to give money to a foundation that funds projects around the world. But, we are a global community of Lions and we empower one another no matter the distance. Better yet, that same foundation—LCIF—also funds projects in their community.

The money you give to LCIF comes back, amplified by the donations of other Lions. For example, giving US$100 to the foundation one year could come back to you as US$300 when your district is in need.

It’s an investment in your club. Your club is an investment in your community. And what is the world if not a collection of communities?

To see more success stories and envision how your club might make a difference, visit

Want to know more about the most ambitious capital campaign in Lions history? Watch now.

Our Impact Through Campaign 100: LCIF Empowering Service


  • Vision: Lead the global charge to rid the world of infectious blindness, reduce avoidable blindness and visual impairment, and improve overall quality of life by providing services to people who are blind or visually impaired.
  • Youth: Serve youth through improved access to quality education, vital health services, inclusive social and recreational opportunities, and positive youth development programs.
  • Disaster Relief: Be deeply engaged in disaster relief efforts and in preparing for, and responding to, natural disasters whenever and wherever they strike.
  • Humanitarian Causes: Sponsor and deliver programs that address the distinct needs of at-risk and vulnerable populations, such as the elderly, the disabled, females, orphans, and others disproportionately impacted by social and economic factors and requiring special services.


  • Diabetes: Be a major part of the response to this global epidemic through multi-faceted, comprehensive health initiatives, reduce prevalence of the disease, and improve quality of care for those living with diabetes.


  • Childhood Cancer: Strengthen medical and social services, increasing global life expectancy of children living with cancer, and enhancing quality of life for them and their families.
  • Hunger: Work toward a world in which no one goes hungry, expanding resources and infrastructure needed to address food shortages globally.
  • Environment: Protect the environmental health of our global communities, generating long-term, positive ecological and humanitarian impact.

How to: Applying for an LCIF Grant

  1. Assess the needs in your local or global community
  2. Work with fellow Lions and local leaders to come up with a project plan addressing unmet needs
  3. Research LCIF grant eligibility
  4. Complete and submit a grant application to LCIF; applications and instructions can be found at:
  5. Work with your local team and LCIF to answer any questions about your application.
  6. If your project is approved by the Board of Trustees and grant conditions are met, LCIF disburses funds and you can get started
  7. Submit periodic progress reports to LCIF
  8. When your project is complete, submit a final report to LCIF and celebrate the impact you’ve made in your community, however global or local it may be!

For more detailed information on the specific requirements and processes for each grant type, visit