by Annemarie Mannion April 3, 2022Kindness Matters Service Award WinnerWhen Power Lines Go Down, Lions Go to WorkCaring for their communities after successive winter storms Now and Again, Kindness Always Matters as a Lion. The 2020-2021 Kindness Matters Service Award Winners have been announced. As Lions we believe that Kindness is always in fashion. Lions and Leos are continually looking for ways to improve their community and the world around them, grounding every service project they do in the idea that all people thrive when shown kindness.The Kindness Matters Service Award (KMSA) was created to recognize innovative and creative service projects in one of the global cause areas that left a positive impact on their communities.One award winner, The City of Adelaide Lions Club in Southern Australia, showed kindness by paying attention to the real needs of those around them—and then acting on them.Buried in snow and ice In just a couple of weeks in 2021, south central Virginia was hit by a one-two punch of two winter storms that blanketed the eight-county region in snow and ice.Roads were blocked, trees were downed, structures were damaged, and more than 48,000 homes and businesses had no electricity for up to two weeks, leaving residents in the cold and dark and without food to eat.Although many of their own households had been affected by the storms, members of the Charlotte Lions Club volunteered to provide hot meals to first responders and to power company workers toiling around the clock to restore electricity.The club also obtained two US$10,000 Lions of Virginia Foundation (LOVF) Emergency Disaster Grants, to provide gift cards to residents to help pay for food, prescription medications, and fuel.The club coordinated with eight other Lions clubs in the area to acquire gift cards in US$25 and US$50 increments and distributed them to 950 individuals who received potentially lifesaving goods and services.No snow day for Lions The Lions didn’t let the COVID-19 pandemic stop them from helping their community.“The needs of their neighbors brought out the Lion in these men and women,” says First District Governor Helen Person.“Wearing masks, gloves, and other PPE, these Lions delivered store cards and teamed with other Lions to make gallons of chili to feed first responders and power line workers working feverishly to restore electricity,” says Person.Person says the service project also spread the word about the good work that Lions do.Charlotte Lions Club in Keysville, Virginia, responded to the storms by providing hot meals to first responders and gift cards to help residents pay for food, medications, and fuel.“One mayor was not familiar with Lions,” she says. “He is now interested in partnering with a neighboring community where the mayor is a Lion and is trying to recharge a dying club with fresh energy, and to support teens and young adults through Lions service.”Person says the project exemplifies how Lions put kindness first in caring for their their communities. “This effort clearly speaks to the fact that where there’s a need, there’s a Lion,” she says.See more kindness in action The winning clubs represent all constitutional areas and show just how meaningful it is to be a Lion or Leo. You can see a full list of the winners here.