Category: Helping Hands Blog
Published: Monday, 14 September 2015 16:54
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Lions Club InternationalLions Club International- Improving the Health of Millions

In a previous blog post I mentioned that the Lions Club International provides eye exams and other eye healthcare to needy individuals. Later, I started wondering exactly what this organization of over 1.4 million members offers and how much they help around the world. After some research I found out that they actually do a lot in a several areas. In addition to eye health, the Lions Club also helps with diabetes care and hearing problems as well as disaster relief.

 

Eye Health

Lions Clubs have been focusing on eye health for nearly 100 years. Many people are familiar with their requests for donations of used prescription eyeglasses, but their eye programs go much further than simply refurbishing old frames. Club members have positively affected hundreds of millions of people worldwide by providing eye screenings, sight-saving medications, training over half a million eye care professionals and even building over 300 eye hospitals.

The Lions Club operates four dozen eye banks that provide corneas and other eye tissue for surgeries, research and transplants the world over. Thousands of doctors rely on this network of not-for-profit eye banks to provide the materials to save and restore the eyesight of their patients.

Diabetes Health

According to the Lions Club website 74% of people who have diabetes for 10 years or more will develop some form of diabetic retinopathy.  Given this fact, assisting people with diabetes also helps prevent blindness. The first step to treating diabetes is detection; therefore individual clubs sponsor screenings in their communities. The organization also operates recreation camps for both adults and children who have diabetes.

Hearing Health

Similar to eye glass recycling, hearing aids can also be recycled, refurbished and provided to people who may not be able to afford these life-altering devices. Aids can be easily mailed to a recycling center such as this one:

                South Dakota Lions Foundation
                800 N. West Avenue
                Sioux Falls, SD 57104.

In additional to physically assisting the hearing impaired, like the diabetes camps, the Lions Club also operates several recreational camps for the deaf and hearing impaired.

Disaster Relief

Lions Club volunteers have helped with numerous disaster situations within the United States and abroad including Haiti and Japan after their major earthquakes. Over $50 million in grants has been awarded to fund disaster relief efforts.  Assisting during a disaster begins at the club level where immediate help can be started, then broadened to include additional clubs as needed and with over 46,000 clubs internationally there are millions of volunteers available.

Lions Clubs around the world are making a difference in the lives of people with health problems. Contact the organization if you need assistance in paying for eye, ear or diabetes treatments by visiting their website at http://lionsclubs.org and locating a club near you.

 

 

 

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