Lions Clubs International
Founded in Chicago, Illinois, USA in 1917 by insurance agent Melvin Jones and others, Lions Clubs International has grown dramatically over the years. Lions are recognized worldwide for their services to the blind and the visually impaired. This service began when Helen Keller challenged the Lions to become her “knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness” during the association’s 1925 international convention. The association is both non-political and non-sectarian. For a more-in-depth history click on History of Lions
The motto of every Lion is simply “We Serve.”
The proper name of our organization is “The International Association of Lions Clubs.” Many Lions, however, prefer to use the shorter form of “Lions Clubs International.”
Throughout the world, Lions are recognized by the emblem they wear on their lapels. It consists of a gold letter “L” on a circular purple field. Bordering this is a circular gold area with two lion profiles at either side facing away from the center. The word, “Lions” appears at the top, and “International” at the bottom. Symbolically the lions face both the past and the future – proud of the past and confident of the future. You should wear the emblem with pride.
The slogan of the association is “Liberty, Intelligence, Our Nations Safety.”
The royal colors of purple and gold were selected as the official color when the association was organized in 1917. Purple stands for loyalty to friends and to one’s self, and for integrity of mind and heart. Gold symbolizes sincerity of purpose, liberty in judgment, purity in life and generosity in mind, heart and purse toward humanity.
About the Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF)
LCIF is the charitable arm of Lions Clubs International. The foundation’s mission is to support the efforts of Lions clubs around the world in serving their local and global communities by funding humanitarian service projects. Last year alone, LCIF approved more than US$31 million in grants for Lions’ districts around the world.
Today, in addition to their international SightFirst program, Lions extend the commitment to sight conservation through numerous local activities. Lions provide 600,000 free professional glaucoma screenings and make 25,000 corneal transplants possible each year.
Lions establish and support a majority of the world’s eye banks, hundreds of clinics, hospitals, and eye research centers worldwide.
Lions provide thousands each year with free quality eye care, eyeglasses, Braille-writers, large print texts, white canes, and guide dogs.
Lions collect more than 3 million pairs of used eyeglasses each year for distribution worldwide.
Lions are also involved in a variety of activities to improve the community and to assist those in need. Programs include help for the hearing impaired, diabetes awareness and education, environmental projects, and youth programs.